VP-Sculpt User/Reference Manual

Copyright 1995-2006
All rights reserved.

Version 3.09


Table of Contents



Introduction

VP-Sculpt is a software package used for interactive computer-assisted editing and free-form sculpting of three-dimensional (3D) polygonal mesh surface models.  These surfaces can be imported from 3D digitizing systems, medical imaging surfacing software, or surface modeling CAD systems.  Editing and sculpting can be applied to individual vertices or facets, to free-form user selected areas, or to an entire model.  Operations include selective smoothing, roughening, stretching, decimation, and refinement.  VP-Sculpt also offers many utilities for repairing a digitized surface (e.g., filling holes and eliminating bad topology), and utilities for preparing a surface for Rapid Prototyping.

Applications for VP-Sculpt include:

Basic Description

VP-Sculpt provides tools for editing and reshaping polygonal mesh surfaces. Sources of surface data include 3D digitizing systems, medical imaging surfacing software, and surface modeling CAD systems. Surfaces can be imported into and exported out of VP-Sculpt in a variety of file formats including DXF, IGES, INVENTOR, OBJ, VP-SCULPT, and STL. Editing and reshaping operations can be applied to individual vertices or facets, to a user-selected area on the surface, or in some cases to an entire model. VP-Sculpt allows you to display multiple views of a model and provides interactive control over pan, rotation, perspective, and various rendering options. VP-Sculpt also has many utilities for repairing model data, performing measurements on a model, and preparing a model for a rapid prototyping (RP) process.

One of the most powerful features of VP-Sculpt is the ability to select areas on a model surface allowing you to edit and reshape them. You can define an area on the surface in many different ways. One method involves interactively placing, sizing, and orienting an elliptical cylinder which is projected onto the surface to define the area. Another method is to define a custom free-form shape where you pick points on the surface which VP-Sculpt automatically connects with geodesic (shortest distance) paths. This is done consecutively until a closed perimeter is indicated on the surface. VP-Sculpt then automatically identifies the portion of the surface within the perimeter. Another method involves defining an open or closed spine on the surface by picking connected points. The area consists of all vertices within a neighborhood of a given size surrounding the spine. The size of the neighborhood (i.e., the width of the area) is adjustable.

Once an area is selected, by any of the methods, it can be Mirror image editing and sculpting can also be performed automatically in the case of a symmetrical surface (e.g., a scanned face).

Another powerful feature is the ability to load multiple models. An individual model can be scaled, translated, and reoriented relative to the other models.  Models can also be merged together or pasted onto one another.

The user interface, including the menu hierarchy, and the many features provided by VP-Sculpt are fully described in the remainder of this document.


Installing and Running VP-Sculpt

The basic steps to install VP-Sculpt are:
  1. Create a new folder (directory) on your system (e.g., "VP-Sculpt " on the C: drive).
  2. Copy "VPSculpt.exe" and "demo.scl" from the CD-ROM into the new folder.
  3. To test the software, double click on the "demo.scl" icon in your new folder.  This will automatically run VP-Sculpt and open the demo file.
VP-Sculpt can be run by double clicking on the VPSculpt application icon, by double clicking on a binary VP-Sculpt file icon (e.g., "demo.scl"), or by dragging a binary VP-Sculpt file icon onto the VPSculpt application icon.  Once a model is loaded, the left mouse button is used to rotate, pan and zoom the view (as described in the Quick Reference dialog box accessed from the Help menu). Vertices and Facets are selected on a model surface (when you are instructed to do so) at the mouse cursor by clicking the right mouse button.  VP-Sculpt Parameters  (see the Quick Reference dialog box accessed from the Help menu) are changed by holding down the appropriate key (e.g., S for stretch) and the left mouse button and moving the mouse up (to increase the parameter) or down (to decrease the parameter).

More than one model can be loaded at once, but most operations apply only to the currently selected model. The name of the "current model" is indicated in the VP-Sculpt window title bar. You can select the current model in the Select menu.

The pull-down menus give you access to all of VP-Sculpt's functionality. The toolbar (below the menus) gives you fast access to some of VP-Sculpt's more commonly used features. When a menu item or toolbar icon is grayed out, the function corresponding to that item is currently not available or appropriate. When three dots (...) appear at the end of a menu item, you will be prompted for information before action is taken; otherwise, the selected function is applied as soon as the item is picked. Some menu items represent on-off toggles. When there is a check mark next to the item, it is active or on; otherwise, it is inactive or off.

Whenever a message appears in status bar at the bottom of the VP-Sculpt window, you should read it! Sometimes you are required to take action on the displayed message before you can continue with other VP-Sculpt activities. Whenever a dialog box message contains the clause "Are you sure," it is recommended that you save the file before taking the action (by escaping out of the active function first). The reason for this is that the function you are about to perform is major and permanent.

Whenever you are asked to pick a vertex or facet on a model, the mouse cursor must be located on a visible front-facing portion of the surface. For instance, if you are trying to pick a vertex on a model boundary (outer boundary or inner hole), the cursor must be just inside the boundary, close to the vertex. When picking a vertex, VP-Sculpt actually finds the facet the cursor is in first and then chooses the vertex that the cursor is closest to within the facet.

Any numbers displayed or prompted by VP-Sculpt are assumed to be in the same units as the model coordinates. For example, if the original model data points were stored in meters, all displayed values and expected inputs are assumed to be in meters. If desired, you can change the default unit system with "Convert Model Units" in the Utilities menu.


VP-Sculpt Controls

All of the information below is summarized (in concise form) in the Quick Reference dialog box accessible under the Help menu.

GENERAL CONTROLS

increasing or decreasing View and Edit control parameters (see below)
To change a view or edit control parameter, hold down the appropriate key and the left mouse button and move the mouse up (to increase the the parameter) or down (to decrease the parameter). The amount of mouse motion controls the amount the parameter is changed. Note that an elliptical area must be selected and displayed in order to change the associated parameters.

rotate (Left Mouse [CTRL])
By pressing the left mouse button and dragging, you can interactively and intuitively rotate the view in the direction you drag. The amount of each rotation step and hence the speed of rotation is controlled by the rotate increment. If you hold down the CTRL key and the left mouse button, up and down motion of the mouse results in rotation about an axis perpendicular to the screen.

pan (SHIFT Left Mouse)
If you hold down one of the Shift keys and press the left mouse button and drag, you can pan (translate) the view in the direction you drag.

zoom (ALT Left Mouse)
If you hold down one of the Alt keys, press the left mouse button and drag up or down, you can zoom the view in or out.

select
To select a vertex or facet on a model (when prompted), you place the cursor over the surface and click the Right Mouse Button (or double click the Left Mouse Button). For example, when VP-Sculpt is in the default Elliptical Area mode, you can select a vertex to define a new elliptical area. In the custom and spine area modes, selecting a point redefines the current vertex. This is useful for checking and monitoring stretch thicknesses at various points in the selected area and for defining a new stretch direction using the Reset Stretch Direction feature.

When selecting (clicking on) a vertex, the cursor tip must be located on (within) a visible (i.e., front-facing and non occluded) facet. The vertex within the facet closest to the cursor tip is selected.

VIEW CONTROL PARAMETERS

NOTE - an alternative to interactively changing these parameters (by using the left mouse button and up/down motion) is to specify exact values using "Set View Control Parameters" in the View menu.

zoom factor (Z)
Increasing this zooms in enlarging the view. Decreasing it zooms out shrinking the view.

zoom/pan increment (T)
Controls the speed of zooming and panning. The smaller the increment, the slower the speed.

near clipping plane (N)
Distance from the viewer to the front clipping plane used for clipping off the view of geometry close to the viewer.

far clipping plane (F)
Distance from the viewer to the rear clipping plane used for clipping off the view of geometry far from the viewer.

perspective angle (P)
Controls the degree of 3D perspective of the view. A larger angle results in a more pronounced effect.

rotate increment (R)
Controls the speed of view rotation driven by the Left Mouse button view controls. The smaller the increment, the slower the speed. The value shown is the rotation increment in degrees between each rotation step. The maximum value allowed is 90 degrees.

EDIT CONTROL PARAMETERS

NOTE - an alternative to interactively changing these parameters (by using the left mouse button and up/down motion) is to specify exact values using "Set Edit Control Parameters" in the Edit menu.

See "Quickly reshape an elliptical area" for recommendations on how to use these controls efficiently.

ellipse area width (W)
Controls the width of the elliptical cylinder used to select an area on a model surface. The speed of the change is controlled by the sensitivity parameter (X).

ellipse area length (L)
Controls the length of the elliptical cylinder used to select an area on a model surface. The speed of the change is controlled by the sensitivity parameter (X).

ellipse area angle (A)
Controls the angle of the elliptical cylinder used to select an area on a model surface.  The speed of the change is controlled by the rotate increment (R).

spine area width (B or W)
Controls the width of the area surrounding a user spine.  The speed of the change is controlled by the sensitivity parameter (X).

sensitivity (X)
Controls the speed of stretching driven by the S Key, or the magnitude of the stretching steps driven by the preset stretch functions. The smaller the increment, the slower the speed and the smaller the preset stretch step. This parameter also affects several display options and other controls in VP-Sculpt. The height of the elliptical cylinder changes with the stretch increment to indicate the sensitivity of the stretching. Also, whenever normal vectors or markers are displayed, their lengths are proportional to the sensitivity. Also, when adding roughness to an area or to the entire model, the amplitude of the roughness is proportional to the stretch increment.

stretch surface (S)
Allows stretching of the current area in or out. The increment of each stretch step and hence the stretch speed is controlled by the sensitivity. See the Stretch menu for more information on surface stretching.
 


Example "How To's"



Menu System

File
Menu for saving, loading, importing, and exporting model files.

Edit
Menu for editing individual vertices or facets, selected areas, or an entire model.

View
Menu for controlling the view and display options for the current model.

Info
Menu for reporting vertex, facet, and model information.

Select
Menu for selecting an area on the current model surface.

Stretch
Menu for stretching areas and for controlling the stretch direction, stretch shape and thickness limits.

Render
Menu for selecting the rendering mode and for controlling rendering attributes for a model.

Hide
Menu for temporarily hiding from view portions of the current model. This can be used to isolate part of the model for faster and easier manipulation.

Animation
Menu to animate model rotation and stretch morphing.

Markers
Menu for placing and controlling the display of markers on the current model surface.

Region
Menu for labeling and coloring regions on the current model.

Measure
Menu for determining distances, sizes, surface areas, and volumes.

Utilities
Menu for offsetting a surface, creating a solid from a surface,  centering a model at the origin, converting model units, etc.

Repair
Menu for various functions to repair model normals and to remove degenerate geometry.

Help
Menu for displaying general and quick reference information about VP-Sculpt.
 


FILE Menu

Open ... [Ctrl+O]
Loads a previously saved binary VP-Sculpt (".scl" or ".sculpt") file. NOTE - these binary files are not compatible between the PC and older SGI version. You must use the ASCII SCL format to import/export files between the PC and older SGI versions.

Close [Ctrl+W]
Closes the currently selected model allowing you to open another.

Open Project ...
Opens all models (SCL files or OBJ files) whose complete paths (including extensions) are listed in an ASCII project file (*.prj).


Save [Ctrl+S]
Saves the current model as a ".scl" file using the current model path and name. The original and sculpted geometry is saved along with all user parameters and settings.

Save As ...
Saves the current model as a ".scl" file using a new file name.

Save Project ...
Saves in an ASCII project file (*.prj) a list of paths of all currently open models.

Save Area to File ... [Alt+0]
Saves the selected area to a ".scl" file.


Import >
Sub menu for importing (loading) different file formats other than VP-Sculpt (".scl") files.

Export >
Sub menu for exporting (saving to) different file formats other than VP-Sculpt (".scl") files.


Exit [Ctrl+Q]
Leave VP-Sculpt.


IMPORT Menu

NOTE - The OBJ format is the most desirable for importing a model into VP-Sculpt.  It is the most efficient and it loads the fastest.  The STL file formats are the least desirable. STL is an inefficient format and VP-Sculpt requires a long time to import these files.  Note - exporting an STL file is a relatively fast process.

See "Load a file into VP-Sculpt quickly" and "Repair and prepare an imported file for use in VP-Sculpt" for recommendations concerning importing files.


OBJ ...
Imports a model stored in the ASCII Wavefront OBJ file format. This is the most efficient of the import formats resulting in the fastest import time. The only tokens supported are "v," "f" and "fo." All other tokens are ignored. All vertices (v tag lines) must be listed first before the facet tag lines.  If the message "Illegal format" appears, it is because of file errors (e.g., reference to nonexistent vertices) or unsupported formatting (e.g., "v" and "f" tags are not in 1st column).

OBJ and Regions ...
Imports a compatible set of Wavefront OBJ and Regions files previously exported from VP-Sculpt. This provides an ASCII file interface to the geometry and region data structures within VP-Sculpt. It can also be used to recover previously exported data that was not saved as a VP-Sculpt file.


DXF (POLYLINE) ...
Imports a model stored in the ASCII AutoCAD DXF file format as a single POLYLINE structure. All other tags and structures are ignored.

DXF (3DFACE) ...
Imports a model stored in the ASCII AutoCAD DXF file format containing 3DFACE facet structures. All other tags and structures are ignored.


ASCII SCL ...
Imports a model stored in the ASCII VP-Sculpt (ACL) file format.  This format is useful for transferring files between the PC and older SGI versions of VP-Sculpt.


Binary STL ...
Imports a model stored in the binary Stereo Lithography (STL) file format.

ASCII STL ...
Imports a model stored in the ASCII Stereo Lithography (STL) file format.


EXPORT Menu

OBJ ...
Exports the current model and saves it as an ASCII Wavefront OBJ file.  The ".obj" extension is added to the file name automatically.


See "Prepare a digitized surface for rapid prototyping (RP)" for a recommended procedure to follow before exporting an STL file.

Binary STL ...
Exports the current model and saves it as a binary Stereo Lithography (STL) file.  The ".stl" extension is added to the file name automatically.  Unlike with importing STL files, exporting takes relatively little time.

ASCII STL ...
Exports the current model and saves it as an ASCII Stereo Lithography (STL) file.  The ".stl" extension is added to the file name automatically.


DXF (POLYLINE) ...
Exports the current model and saves it as an ASCII AutoCAD DXF file using the POLYLINE structure.  The ".dxf" extension is added to the file name automatically.

IGES (106) ...
Exports the current model and saves it as an ASCII IGES file using the Copious Data Entity (106 entity type).  The ".igs" extension is added to the file name automatically.


Inventor ...
Exports the current model and saves it as an ASCII Inventor file.  The ".iv" extension is added to the file name automatically. The SGI utility ivview can be used to view these files.

GVA ...
Exports the current model and saves it as a binary GVA file. This is a tri-strip format developed for use with an Inventor-based viewer.  The ".gva" extension is added to the file name automatically.


ASCII SCL ...
Exports the current model and saves it as an ASCII VP-Sculpt (ACL) file.   The ".acl" extension is added to the file name automatically. This export format is useful for transferring files between the PC and older SGI versions of VP-Sculpt.
 


EDIT Menu

Undo Area Editing [Ctrl+Z]
Removes the effects of all stretching, smoothing, and roughening operations applied since the last area definition or the last Undo Buffer reset.

Reset Undo Buffer [K]
Resets the area editing Undo Buffer used to undo the effects of area editing. When the buffer is reset, all previous area operations become permanent and the area buffer is cleared. All subsequent stretching, smoothing, and roughening area operations will be remembered and an Undo can be applied to them.


Area >
Sub menu for editing and reshaping a selected area.

Model >
Sub menu for editing and reshaping the entire model.


Change Smoothing Weight ...
In smoothing operations, a vertex is replaced by an average of its own coordinates and the coordinates of all of its neighbor vertices. This menu item lets you change the weighting factor applied to the neighbors. The default value is 1 implying that the neighbors are weighted the same as the vertex. Values less than 1 weigh the neighbors less, and values greater than 1 weigh the neighbors more.

Set Edit Control Parameters ...
Allows you to change the values for all of the Edit Control Parameters by keying in numbers.

Update Model Extents and Parameters
Determines the geometric extents of the sculpted model and adjusts the near and far clipping planes to allow viewing of the entire model. This is useful if the view is being clipped and you want to quickly view the all extents of the models. Also, all other parameters related to the extents (e.g., the increments used for elliptical area sizing and stretching) are reset to their default values.


Add Facet Between Boundary Facets ...
Allows you to create new facets which bridge between sets of two existing boundary facets.

Add Facet Between Boundary Vertices ...
Allows you to create new facets which bridge across sets of three existing boundary vertices.

Delete Individual Vertices ...
Allows you to delete individually selected vertices. VP-Sculpt automatically deletes the vertex's neighbor facets.

Delete Individual Facets ...
Allows you to delete individually selected facets. VP-Sculpt automatically deletes the vertex's neighbor facets and any resulting stranded vertices.

Refine Individual Facets ...
Allows you to refine individually selected facets. Each facet is replaced with four planar facets created by joining the edge midpoints of the original facet.  The surrounding mesh is also re-triangulated to join to the new edge midpoints.


Move Individual Vertices ...
Allows you to move individually selected vertices relative to the plane of the screen.  A vertex is selected with the left mouse button while holding down the Spacebar.  Both the Spacebar and left mouse button must remain down to move the vertex.  If the Shift key is held down, mouse motion translates the vertex within the plane of the screen.  If the Alt key is held down, vertical mouse motion translates the vertex perpendicular to the plane of the screen (i.e., in and out of the screen).  The speed of the motion is affected by the amount of mouse motion and the zoom/pan increment (T).

Specify New Vertex Coordinates ...
Allows you to change the numerical values for the three coordinates (x, y, z) of selected vertices.

Snap Vertices to a Line ... [Ctrl+L]
Allows you to snap vertices to a line defined by picking two existing vertices on the current model. VP-Sculpt searches for all connected points that lie within a user-specified tolerance from the line joining the two vertices. All close (within tolerance) points (vertices) are then snapped to the line. The default snap tolerance is 1/3 of the average distance from the line endpoints to their neighbor vertices. Note that for large snap tolerances, many vertices and facets will be snapped to the line resulting in flattened facets. These can be removed with the "Replace Low Aspect Ratio Facets" function in the Repair menu.


Trim Model With a Cutting Plane ... [Ctrl+T]
Allows you to delete all vertices and facets on one side of a plane that you place and orient in space. The procedure for positioning the plane is the same as that used for Define Mirror Plane in the Select-Mirror Image menu. Everything above the plane (on the blue vector side) is deleted. This feature is very useful for trimming around the periphery of a model.

Trim Portion of Model ... [Ctrl+Y]
Allows you to delete all vertices and facets (front and back facing) within a user-drawn screen rectangle.

Trim All But Portion of Model  ...
Allows you to delete all vertices and facets (front and back facing) outside of a user-drawn screen rectangle.


AREA Menu

Decimate ... [Ctrl+D]
Reduces the number of vertices and facets within the area by removing and patching over vertices that contribute little to the curvature of the surface. This feature is very useful for reducing the size and increasing the manipulation speed of a model while attempting to retain sufficient detail. VP-Sculpt removes the vertices that contribute least to the surface curvature and detail first and continues until the desired reduction level is achieved. The result is that vertices are removed first in flat areas first where removal has little if any effect on the shape or appearance of the model.

Four parameters control the decimation process: the largest feature height allowable for decimation, the largest boundary angle allowable for decimation, the number of decimation steps, and the target decimation percentage. Default values for the first three parameters are chosen by VP-Sculpt automatically, and they usually provide good results. If you wish to override the default values, VP-Sculpt will prompt you for the changes.

Before the feature height prompt (if requested), VP-Sculpt displays the total range of feature heights in the area (minimum, average and maximum). An interior vertex's feature height is the maximum distance between the vertex and its neighbor vertices projected in the vertex normal direction. For boundary vertices, the feature height is the distance between the vertex and the line segment joining its two boundary neighbors. By specifying the largest feature height allowable for decimation, you prevent VP-Sculpt from removing vertices with feature heights larger than this value. The Vertex and Feature Height selections in the Info menu are useful for checking feature heights before beginning the decimation process. The default largest feature height is [min + 2*(avg-min)] where "min" and "avg" are the minimum and average feature heights in the current model. This value gives VP-Sculpt adequate freedom in terms of allowable feature heights. For most applications, there is no need to change this parameter and the default value is acceptable, especially since VP-Sculpt decimates the low feature height areas first.

The second optional prompt is for the maximum boundary angle (in degrees) allowable for decimation. The default value is 30 degrees which allows much freedom. This angle is used when determining whether or not a vertex lying on an outer boundary or on a hole should be decimated. It provides an added check to the feature height test. If the turning angle (non straightness) at a boundary vertex is larger than the maximum value provided, the vertex will not be decimated. This control is useful in retaining shape detail in holes and on the surface boundary.

The third optional prompt is for the number of decimation steps. This defines the number of sub ranges into which the total feature height range is divided. In each iteration step of the algorithm, each vertex is checked to determine if its feature height is in or below the current sub range. VP-Sculpt removes all vertices within or below the sub range for each iteration. For most applications, there is no need to control this parameter and the default value (40) is acceptable.

The last prompt (the only mandatory prompt) is the most important because it defines the target decimation percentage. This percentage defines the goal percentage of facets to remove. For example, with a 25% target percentage, VP-Sculpt would try to remove 25% of the facets formed by vertices in the flattest areas. The target percentage will usually be exceeded slightly. The decimation process stops when the target percentage is reached or exceeded during the current iteration step. At any time during the process, you can stop the decimation with the Esc key. VP-Sculpt finishes the current iteration step and then stops.

Be aware that decimation, especially the first iteration, can take a long time. This is especially true for extremely large models.

Currently, decimation cannot be undone, so it is a good idea to save before performing it.

The decimation technique used in VP-Sculpt is based on the algorithm presented in:

"Decimation of Triangle Meshes,"
by W. Schroeder, J. Zarge and W. Lorensen,
Computer Graphics (SIGGRAPH Proceedings '92), pp. 65-70, 1992.

Refine (1 facet to 4) [Ctrl+R]
Replaces each facet in the area with four planar facets created by joining the edge midpoints of the original facets. This results in added resolution, although the actual shape of the area is not altered. Currently, this operation cannot be undone, so it is a good idea to save before performing it. Often, it is wise to smooth the area and area perimeter after refining it. This helps regularize the refined mesh, give the area smoother curvature, and blend the area in with the surrounding mesh.


Smooth [F9]
Replaces each vertex in the area with the average of all of its neighbor vertices resulting in smoothing of the area. Each time smoothing is applied, the area gets smoother. The first step results in the greatest smoothing.

Smooth Perimeter [F11]
Replaces each vertex in the area perimeter with the average of all of its neighbor vertices resulting in a better blending between an area and its surroundings.

Roughen [F10]
Randomly displaces each vertex in the area in its normal direction. The amplitude of the roughness is controlled by the sensitivity parameter (X).


Delete [Ctrl+X]
Removes all of the vertices and facets within the area, creating a hole in the current model surface.

Delete All But
Removes all but the area vertices and facets in the current model. The area will be all that remains.


Snap to Plane ... [Ctrl+F]
Snaps all area vertices to a user-located plane. This feature is extremely useful for flattening an area. The procedure for placing the plane is the same as that used for Define Mirror Plane in the Select-Mirror Image menu.


Remove Sculpting ...
Returns the area's sculpted shape back to the original model geometry. This effectively removes all stretching, smoothing, and roughening. Permanent mesh editing modifications such deletes, decimates, and refines are not reversed in this process.


MODEL Menu

Decimate ...
Same as Decimate in the EDIT-Area menu, except applied to the entire model. Note that any area definition is lost in the process.

Decimate Boundary Only ...
Same as Decimate in the EDIT-Area menu, except applied only to the current model boundaries, including hole edges.

Refine (1 facet to 4)
Same as Refine in the EDIT-Area menu, except applied to the entire model. Note that any area selection is cleared in the process.


Smooth [Ctrl+F9]
Same as Smooth in the EDIT-Area menu, except applied to the entire model.

Smooth Interior Only
Smoothes only the interior of the current model, excluding boundary vertices. This is useful if you want to retain the shape of a surface's boundary and holes.

Smooth Boundaries Only [Ctrl+F11]
Smoothes only the boundaries (free edges) of the current model, excluding interior vertices.

Roughen
Same as Roughen in the EDIT-Area menu, except applied to the entire model.


Remove All Sculpting ...
Returns the sculpted model back to its original geometry. This effectively removes all stretching, smoothing, and roughening. Permanent mesh editing modifications such as deletes, decimates, and refines are not reversed in this process.
 


VIEW Menu

Preset View >
Sub menu for setting the view to one of six preset model axis directions providing a top, side or bottom view of the world.

Center View
Pans the view so that the geometric center of the models is at the center of the window. The zoom factor is also set to 1 to scale the view to fit the window.


Change Rotation Center ...
Allows you to pick a vertex on the current model to serve as the new center of rotation of the view.

Reset Rotation Center
Resets the center of rotation of the view to the geometric center of the loaded models.


Perspective Projection [;]
Switches between perspective and orthographic projection viewing mode.

Sculpted Surface [Home]
Toggles between viewing the sculpted version of the models and the original surfaces.

Display >
Sub menu for controlling the display of areas, normals, boundaries, etc.


Set View Control Parameters ...
Allows you to change the values for all of the View Control Parameters by keying in numbers.


Toolbar
Toggles the toolbar (below the pull-down menus) on or off.

Status Bar
Toggles the status bar (message area at the bottom of the window) on or off.  It is recommended that you never turn this off since it often displays vital instructions that must be followed.

Surface Thickness Box
Toggles on or off the display of the thickness dialog box that reports the sculpted thickness at the current vertex.  The current thickness limits are also reported and can be changed in the dialog box (see also: "Set Stretch Limits" in the Stretch menu).   The sculpted thickness is the minimum distance between the sculpted vertex position and the original unsculpted surface.  A positive thickness implies the sculpted surface is above the original surface and a negative thickness implies it is below.  The limits are used to sound a beep when the thickness at the current vertex exceeds one of the limits during a stretching operation.


PRESET VIEW Menu

Isometric
Rotates and centers the view so the x-axis is horizontal to the right, the y-axis points to the upper left, and the z-axis points to the lower left. In orthographic projection mode, the three axes appear 120 degrees apart on the screen.


Pos X-axis
Rotates and centers the view so the viewing direction is from the positive side of the x-axis to the origin with the y-axis up and the z-axis to the left.

Neg X-axis
Rotates and centers the view so the viewing direction is from the negative side of the x-axis to the origin with the y-axis up and the z-axis to the right.


Pos Y-axis
Rotates and centers the view so the viewing direction is from the positive side of the y-axis to the origin with the z-axis down and the x-axis to the right.

Neg Y-axis
Rotates and centers the view so the viewing direction is from the positive side of the y-axis to the origin with the z-axis up and the x-axis to the right.


Pos Z-axis
Rotates and centers the view so the viewing direction is from the positive side of the z-axis to the origin with the y-axis up and the x-axis to the right.

Neg Z-axis
Rotates and centers the view so the viewing direction is from the positive side of the z-axis to the origin with the y-axis up and the x-axis to the left.


DISPLAY Menu

Area and Mirror
Toggles on or off the display of the area and mirror plane. Note that even if they are hidden, they are still active.


Area Normals [O]
Toggles on or off the display of normal vectors at all vertices in the current area. This is useful to help visualize the 3D shape of the selected area. It is also useful because it clearly shows the extent of the area (esp., when the area's perimeter is undefined), and it helps you identify the "inside" and "outside" of the area for complex custom perimeters.

Normals During Fill Operations [Q]
Toggles on or off the display of normal vectors during fill operations such as "Determine Area" and "Reorient Normals." When this option is ON (the default), a fill operation is illustrated graphically with the display of normals as the operation progresses. When the option is OFF, no visual feedback is provided, but the operation will complete much faster.

Model Facet Normals
Hides or unhides the display of normal vectors at the center of every facet in the model.

Model Vertex Normals
Hides or unhides the display of normal vectors at every vertex in the model.


All Model Boundary Edges [Ctrl+A]
Toggles on or off the display of "free edges" in the current model. A "free edge" is and edge with only one adjacent facet. Free edges represent outer boundaries of a surface or inner boundaries of holes.

Model Holes [Ctrl+H]
Toggles on or off the display of "holes" in the current model. A "hole" is a closed loop of model edges for which the model surface is to the right of the loop when it is traversed counterclockwise (CCW) on the outward normal side of the surface.

Model Outer Boundaries [Ctrl+B]
Toggles on or off the display of "outer boundaries" in the current model. An "outer boundary" is a closed loop of model edges for which the model surface is to the left of the loop when it is traversed counterclockwise (CCW) on the outward normal side of the surface.

Model Unidentified Boundaries [Ctrl+U]
Toggles on or off the display of all "unidentified boundaries" in the model. An "unidentified boundary" is a set of connected free edges that could could not be closed to form a "hole" or "outer boundary." An "unidentified boundary" is the result of a mesh topology problem that can usually be resolved with "Delete Ends of Unidentified Boundaries" in the Repair menu .


Show Improper Facets
Highlights every facet in the current model that has an edge shared by more than two facets.
 


INFO Menu

Vertex ...
Reports the index, coordinates, normal vector components, neighbor vertex indices, neighbor facet indices, and sculpted thickness for vertices selected interactively. The feature height, which is used by the decimation algorithm (see the Edit-Area menu), is a measure of the curvature at the vertex (the smaller the number, the lower the curvature). An interior vertex's feature height is the maximum distance between the vertex and its neighbor vertices projected in the vertex normal direction. For boundary vertices, the feature height is the distance between the vertex and the line segment joining its two boundary neighbors. The sculpted thickness is the minimum distance between the sculpted vertex position and the original unsculpted model surface.

Facet ...
Reports the index, vertex indices, normal vector components, and aspect ratio for facets selected interactively. An aspect of 0.0 corresponds to a flattened (zero area) facet and a ratio of 1.0 corresponds to an equilateral triangle.

Area ...
Reports the number of vertices and facets in the currently selected area.  It also reports the number of vertices in the area perimeter and spine (if they exist).

Model
Reports the number of vertices, number of  facets, and the minimum, center, and maximum x, y, and z coordinates and dimensions of the current model.

World Extents
Reports the minimum and maximum x, y, and z coordinates and dimensions of all loaded models.


Boundaries [Ctrl+I]
Reports the number of "holes," "outer boundaries," and "unidentified boundaries" in the current model.


Model Thickness Range
Reports the minimum, average, and maximum thickness (amount of stretch) in the current model.

Feature Height Range
Reports the minimum and maximum vertex feature heights in the current model. For interior vertices, the feature height is the maximum distance between the vertex and its neighboring vertices projected in the vertex normal direction. For boundary vertices, the feature height is the distance between the vertex and the line segment joining its two boundary neighbors.

Aspect Ratio Range
Reports the minimum, average, and maximum facet aspect ratios in the model where 0.0 corresponds to a flattened (zero area) facet and 1.0 corresponds to an equilateral triangle.
 


SELECT Menu

Boundary Area ... [G]
Allows you to select an area adjacent to a model boundary. A custom shape is drawn between two points on a model boundary using the method described in "Custom Area" below. You then pick an interior point so VP-Sculpt can find the resulting enclosed area. The normal at this point also indicates the default stretch direction for the area.

Boundary areas are useful for trimming along the current model perimeter (using Delete in the Edit-Area menu) and for tucking in a model's boundaries (the "Smooth Cusp" Stretch Shape is particularly useful for this). During stretch operations, the points on the model boundary are stretched the most.

Custom Enclosed Area ... [C]
Allows you to define a custom free-form shape on the current model surface which defines an area for subsequent editing or reshaping operations. You define the area perimeter by picking vertices on the surface. VP-Sculpt automatically connects them with minimum distance line segment paths. The closer together you pick the points, the more control you have over the perimeter shape. When two consecutive points are far apart, VP-Sculpt will generate the least distance (geodesic) path connecting the points.  If you make a mistake, you can back up while drawing the shape using the BACKSPACE key. VP-Sculpt can close the perimeter for you automatically if you press the Enter key. If the perimeter contains self intersections, VP-Sculpt will automatically trim off the smaller loops or overlaps created by the intersections.  See "Control the shape of a custom area perimeter" for more information on how to control the area shape.

VP-Sculpt also prompts you to pick a vertex on the model surface inside of the perimeter. The normal vector of this vertex defines the default stretch direction for any subsequent sculpt operations. This stretch direction can be changed by picking another vertex later (even outside of the perimeter) and by selecting "Reset Stretch Direction" in the Stretch menu or by entering vector coordinates with "Change Stretch Direction w/ Vector" in the Stretch menu. The stretch direction is indicated with a blue line at the current selected vertex. For most sculpting operations, almost any vertex normal within the area provides an acceptable stretch direction.

Given the perimeter and the selected interior vertex, VP-Sculpt automatically identifies the portion of the surface within the perimeter for subsequent area operations. If you have the display of area normals turned on, the area facet normals are highlighted indicating the area's interior.

Elliptical Shape Area ... [E]
Returns VP-Sculpt to the mode where you define an area by interactively placing, sizing and orienting an elliptical cylinder normal to the surface at a selected vertex. The center of the ellipse is defined by picking a vertex on the surface. The size, shape and angle of the elliptical cylinder are controlled by the Edit Control Parameters. The normal vector of the center vertex defines the stretch direction for any subsequent sculpting operations. The stretch direction can be changed by entering vector components with "Change Stretch Direction w/ Vector" in the Stretch menu.

The area to be selected is determined by VP-Sculpt by projecting the elliptical cylinder onto the model surface. Any front-facing vertices that have a visible connected path to the center vertex within the cylinder are included in the area. If the area perimeter is well defined and doesn't include boundary edges and if there are no backfacing regions within the projected area, a red border will indicate the perimeter on the surface. If the perimeter does not appear, you will not be able to perform certain functions (e.g., area refine and perimeter smooth). The elliptical area's exclusion of backfacing vertices is useful when performing stretching operations; however, be careful with other operations such as delete or refine because you may not get the results you desire.

Interior Cliff (Half) Area ... [H]
Allows you to define an internal custom shape area with stretch properties similar to a boundary area. You are first prompted for a ledge shape which becomes a cliff when the area is later stretched. The ledge is then connected on both ends by a custom enclosing shape. The vertices in the ledge remain highlighted to remind you where the cliff will be formed during stretching. The vertices closest to the ledge and furthest from the non ledge perimeter are stretched the most during a stretch.

Spine Area ... [V]
Allows you to select an area surrounding an open or closed polyline (spine). The width of the area surrounding the spine is controlled by the "spine area width" edit control parameter (B). Any vertex neighboring the spine whose straight-line distance to the spine is less than the spine area width is included in the area. When possible, the outer perimeter of the area is identified and shown as a border. If the perimeter does not appear, you will not be able to perform certain functions (e.g., area refine and perimeter smooth). If the perimeter is not shown, you can visualize the extents of the area by turning on the Area Normals display in the View-Display menu.

As with the custom enclosed area, you are prompted for the stretch direction vertex. A spine area, when stretched, allows you to easily create well defined ridges and valleys on the surface.


Invert Custom Area [I]
Deselects the current area and selects the entire connected model area on the other side of the current custom area perimeter.

Convert Custom Shape to Spine
Converts a custom enclosed area into a closed spine area.

Convert Closed Spine to Custom Shape
Converts a closed spine area into a custom enclosed area.

Deselect Area [Esc]
Deselects the current selected area and puts VP-Sculpt in the Elliptical Area select mode.


Mirror Image >
Sub menu for defining and activating a mirror image plane for the current model.


Change Current Model ... [Ctrl+C]
Allows you to select a model from a list to be the "current model." All operations apply to the current model unless indicated otherwise.

Make Next Model Current [Ctrl+Tab]
Selects the next model (in the order loaded) to be the "current model."


MIRROR IMAGE Menu

Define Mirror Plane ...
Allows you to define or redefine the position and orientation of the plane of symmetry used for mirror image functions. The mirror plane is shown as a gridded red plane and is positioned and oriented by holding down the SPACEBAR and left mouse button, along with option keys, and by moving the mouse. With no option keys held down, mouse motion rotates the plane about intuitive screen axes. When the CTRL key is held down, up and down mouse motion rotates the plane about an axis perpendicular to the screen. When the SHIFT key is held down, up and down mouse motion translates the plane along its normal (blue) vector.

When the SPACEBAR is not held down, the left mouse button, option keys, and mouse motion control the view in the normal fashion (see General Controls).

The default plane is in the YZ plane with the normal vector along the x-axis.

Mirror Imaging [M]
Toggles mirror imaging on or off. When mirror imaging is on, VP-Sculpt automatically generates a mirror image of any area you define on one side of the model to the other side of the model. Any area editing or sculpting operation will automatically be applied to both areas. This is extremely useful if you want to perform symmetrical sculpting on a model that has a plane of symmetry. Note that when mirror imaging is turned on, the current selected vertex, if there is one, must be located in the current area.
 


STRETCH Menu

See "Tuck in a model's boundary" and "Create a radial bulge in a cylindrical surface" for creative examples of how to use the features in this menu.


Preset Stretch >
Sub menu for stretching an area in a fixed number of sensitivity increments.


Reset Stretch Direction [Ctrl+E]
Resets the stretch direction to the normal vector of the currently selected vertex.

Change Stretch Direction With Vector ...
Allows you to change the current stretch direction by entering new vector components. The vector is automatically normalized. Entering vector components is not very intuitive or user friendly; however, you should not need to use this feature often, if at all. For a custom user area, you can control the stretch direction by clicking on different vertices after defining the shape. The stretch direction is defined by the normal vector at the selected vertex. Once you have started stretching the area, selecting different vertices only changes the thickness value display, not the stretch direction. However, Reset Stretch Direction (above) lets you override this to redefine the direction.


Stretch Shape >
Sub menu for choosing a shape to control stretching of selected areas.


Use Local Normals for Stretching
Switches between the current stretch direction and the local normal stretching modes. When local normal stretching is on, every area vertex will stretch in the direction of its own normal rather than in the current area stretch direction. This is useful in creating a growing or bulging type stretch.

Set Stretch Limits ...
Lets you change the minimum and maximum stretch limits. When the surface thickness at the currently selected vertex exceeds these limits during a stretching operation, VP-Sculpt sounds a beep. This is useful if you want to limit the amount of sculpting you perform on a model.

Use Current Thickness Range as Limits
Sets the minimum and maximum stretch limits to the current minimum and maximum thicknesses in the current model.  This is useful for enhancing the visual impact of the Thickness Color Contour render mode (see Render menu).


PRESET STRETCH Menu

Small (1) Out [F1]
Stretches the current area out one sensitivity increment.

Medium (3) Out [F2]
Stretches the current area out three sensitivity increments.

Large (5) Out [F3]
Stretches the current area out five sensitivity increments.


Small (1) In [F5]
Stretches the current area in one sensitivity increment.

Medium (3) In [F6]
Stretches the current area in three sensitivity increments.

Large (5) In [F7]
Stretches the current area in five sensitivity increments.


STRETCH SHAPE Menu

Smooth Cubic
Stretch shape based on a cubic polynomial which creates a smooth rounded bulge. This is the default shape which results in the best stretching for most free-form sculpting applications.

Smooth Cusp
Stretch shape that is smooth at the perimeter of the area but pointy at the center of the area.

Straight Cusp
Stretch shape that ramps up from the perimeter to the center of the area in a straight-line fashion.

Flat
Shape resulting in uniform (constant) stretching for every vertex in the selected area. This results in a loft of the area when it is stretched.
 


RENDER Menu

See "Speed up model zooming, panning, and rotation" for recommendations on how to use some of these render features to your advantage.


Point Cloud [1]
Shows each model vertex as a white dot. The resulting display is a cloud of points.

Full Wireframe [2]
Shows every model edge as a white line. The resulting display is a wireframe (stick figure) image.

Visible Wireframe [3]
Full Wireframe with edges of non visible (backfacing or occluded) facets not shown.

Shaded Visible Wireframe [4]
Visible Wireframe with smooth (Gouraud) shaded coloring.

Smooth Shading [5]
Smooth (Gouraud) shaded image. The color and intensity at points on the surface are interpolated across facets between the vertices.

Flat Shading [6]
Shades each facet with a constant color. The intensity of the color depends on the facet's angle to the light source. Facets facing the light source are brightest.

Wireframe/Shaded Combo [7]
Smooth shaded image with a superimposed white wireframe.



Bounding Box [8]
Shows the smallest axis-aligned box that encloses the models. The coordinate axes are also displayed at the center of the box (x:red, y:green, z:blue). This mode is useful to manipulate the view rotation, zoom and pan extremely quickly and to visualize the directions of the coordinate axes.

Thickness Color Contour [9]
Colors the current model to indicate the degree of sculpting (thickness) across the model surface. Red implies a positive thickness (i.e., the sculpted surface is above the original surface) and blue implies a negative thickness (i.e., the sculpted surface is below the original surface).  The intensity of the color indicates the relative thickness -- the thicker areas appear brighter.

The current thickness limits control the intensity contouring. "Use Current Thickness Range as Limits" in the Stretch menu may be useful in maximizing the visual impact.



Quick Render Mode [0]
This toggle, when ON, allows for only a part of a model, every Nth vertex/facet, to be rendered during model manipulation.  The counter N is set with "Change Quick Render Counter" below, and its default value is 10.  This mode allows for much faster view manipulation than normal.

Change Quick Render Counter ...
Allows you to change the number of vertices or facets (N) to skip between rendered vertices or facets when the Quick Render Mode is activated (ON).

Backfacing Polygons
Hides or unhides all facets that face away from the viewer. This can improve the speed of model view manipulation.

Double Buffering
Toggles on or off window double buffering. When double buffer mode is on, the window is redrawn in a back (non visible) buffer that is swapped to the front (visible) buffer instantaneously. This hides the drawing process from the user and can result in smooth animation when the view is manipulated. When this mode is off, all drawing occurs in the front (visible) buffer. This mode provides continual feedback to the user when a large model is redrawn but results in flicker for smaller models.


Change Model Color ...
Allows you to change the current model's color.

Change Background Color ...
Allows you to change the color of the window's background. The default color is black.

Move Light Source ...
Allows you to interactively move the light source with the mouse. The light source position and direction are indicated with a white frustrum.

Set Light Source Position ...
Allows you to specify a new light source position. The x, y, and z coordinates are specified and fixed in window coordinates where the origin (0, 0, 0) is at the center of the window, positive x is to the right, positive y is up, and positive z is out of the screen.


HIDE Menu

These features are useful to temporarily hide from view portion(s) of model(s) to help speed up view manipulations.

Hide Area [Ctrl+K]
Hides the current selected area from view.

Hide Portion of Model ...
Hides from view the portion (front and back facing) of the current model within a user-drawn screen rectangle.

Hide All But Portion of Model ...
Hides from view all but the the portion (front and back facing) of the current model within a user-drawn screen rectangle.

Hide Entire Model
Hides from view the entire current model.

Hide All But Current Model
Hides from view all models except the current model.


Unhide Area
 Returns to view (unhides) the current selected area.

Unhide Portion of Model ...
Returns to view (unhides) the portion (front and back facing) of the current model within a user-drawn screen rectangle.

Unhide Entire Model [Ctrl+N]
Returns to view (unhides) the entire current model.

Unhide All Models
Returns to view (unhides) all portions of all models.


Change Model Display ...
Allows you to change the display status (visible or not) of any of the loaded models.  Any hidden portions are retained for when the models all displayed again.  Use the Shift key to select a range of models in the list.  Use the Ctrl key to select a set of models by picking them individually.


ANIMATION Menu

Animated Sculpting ...
Linearly interpolates the view between the original unsculpted model to the sculpted shape in a given number of steps. This provides a 3D morph animation.  VP-Sculpt gives you the option to pause between each animation key frame.

Animated Sculpting Continuous ...
Same as "Animated Sculpting" but also reverses and cycles the animation until you stop it with the Esc key.

Animated Rotation
Rotates the view a full revolution about each axis sequentially. This is repeated until you stop it with the Esc key.

Animated Rotation/Sculpting Combo ...
This is a combination of the "Animated Rotation" and the "Animated Sculpting Continuous" features.
 


MARKERS Menu

Add ...
Allows you to select vertices to be marked. Marked vertices remain highlighted until the markers are cleared or toggled off.

Clear Individual ...
Removes markers at individually selected vertices..

Clear All
Removes all vertex markers.

Display
Hides or unhides the display of markers.
 


REGION Menu

Label ... [Ctrl+G]
Allows you to label the currently selected area with a name and a color.

Add To ...
Adds the facets in the currently selected area to an existing selected region.

Subtract From ...
Removes the facets in the currently selected area from an existing selected region.


Change Name and Color ...
Allows you to change the name and color of an existing selected region.


Display ...
Allows you to change the display status of existing regions.  Use the Shift key to select a range of regions in the list.  Use the Ctrl key to select a set of regions by picking them individually.

Display All
Sets the display status of all existing regions to ON so all of them appear.

Display None
Sets the display status of all existing regions to OFF so none display.


Remove ...
Allows you to delete an existing region definition. Only the name and color assignments are removed -- no geometry is deleted.

Remove All
Deletes all existing region definitions. Only the name and color assignments are removed -- no geometry is deleted.


Export
Exports all of the region information to an ASCII file with a ".rgn" extension. The format of the file is as follows:

The items in angle brackets (<>) vary with the file. The color components (red, green, blue) are integers varying within the range 0 to 255. The OBJ file is an excellent companion to this file for applications that require processing of this data. The facets in the OBJ file are ordered from 1 starting with the 1st facet. This numbering corresponds to the indices listed in the ".rgn" file. Use FILE-EXPORT-OBJ to create an OBJ file after exporting the region data.
 


MEASURE Menu

Line Distance ... [Ctrl+/]
Calculates the straight-line (Euclidean) distance between two user-specified vertices.

Surface Distance ... [Ctrl+.]
Calculates the length of the minimum distance (geodesic) edge-connected path between two selected vertices.

Radius From 3 Points ... [Ctrl+,]
Calculates the radius of a circle or arc passing through three selected vertices.

Area Surface Area [Ctrl+M]
Calculates the surface area (the sum of facet areas) of the current selected area on the current model.

Model Surface Area
Calculates the surface area (the sum of facet areas) of the entire model.

Model Volume
Calculates the volume enclosed by the current model surface if the surface represents a 3D solid. This feature does not work for a non-closed model surface with boundaries since there is no clearly defined volume.
 


UTILITIES Menu

Offset Surface ...
Offsets every vertex in the sculpted model along its normal a specified amount effectively growing the surface out (positive offset) or in (negative offset).

Create Shell (Offset to Solid) ...
Extrudes a surface bounded by a closed outer boundary into a volume of specified wall thickness. The surface is copied and offset inward and then all boundaries (outer boundaries and holes) are stitched together between the original and copied surface resulting in a completely closed solid.

Obviously, if the model surface already represents an enclosed volume (i.e., it has no edge boundaries), this feature does not apply.

Extrude to Flat Bottom ...
Extrudes a surface bounded by a closed outer boundary into a volume with a flat bottom. The flat bottom is defined by placing a plane interactively.  The procedure for positioning the plane is the same as that used for Define Mirror Plane in the Select-Mirror Image menu. You also specify the desired draft angle of the extruded sides. For the extrusion to work properly, the plane must be placed below the surface with the plane's normal vector pointing up towards the bottom of the surface.

It is recommended that you decimate the model's boundary (using Decimate Boundaries Only in the Edit-Model menu) before extruding to reduce the vertex/facet count of the resulting extruded solid. You cannot extrude a surface with multiple "outer boundaries." If a surface appears to have no "outer boundary" but it has a single "hole," that hole will be treated as the "outer boundary" and the surface can be extruded.

Obviously, if the model surface already represents an enclosed volume (i.e., it has no edge boundaries), this feature does not apply.


Expand Model ...
Expands the current model (adds an extruded section) at a user-defined plane. The plane is defined by you interactively (the procedure is the same as that described for Define Mirror Plane in the Select-Mirror Image menu). You specify the thickness of the expansion. The result is that the model is spread apart at the plane by stretching the sectioned surface. No new vertices or facets are created; existing geometry is just reshaped.

Divide Model With a Split Plane ...
Allows you to divide the current model into two pieces separated by a user-placed plane that intersects the model.  The procedure for positioning the plane is the same as that used for Define Mirror Plane in the Select-Mirror Image menu.

The top half of the model (above the plane on the normal vector side) is stored with "_top" appended to the original model name. The bottom half (below the plane) is stored with "_bottom" appended to the model name. New facets are created and existing facets are deleted where the plane intersects the model to result in a straight (flat) division. The original model is removed from memory and the two halves remain as two separate models.

This feature is useful for subdividing large models in preparation for Rapid Prototyping of exported STL files.

Trim Outside of Shape ...
Allows you to define a custom shape on the current model surface. Everything outside of this shape will be deleted. This is an alternative to defining an area with a custom user shape and deleting all but the area. In the case where you want to trim off only a small portion of the model surface perimeter, the area method is less efficient since it has to determine the entire contents of the area first.


Transform >
Sub menu for repositioning, reorienting, scaling, and mirroring the current model.  Note - these functions permanently change the model coordinates.


Merge Two Models ...
Allows you to combine two separate model files into a single model file. The models can first be oriented, positioned, and scaled with "Reorient/Translate/Scale Model ... [Tab]" in the UTILITIES-Transform menu.  VP-Sculpt asks you to indicate from a list the model to be joined and then the model to which to be joined. VP-Sculpt combines the two models into one model with the same name as the second (joined to) model.  You should use "Save-As" in the FILE menu if you wish to save the merged file under a different model name (if you don't want the original model to be overwritten).

See "Merge two models into a single connected model" for more information on how to use this feature.

Trim Model at Intersection ... [T]
Finds the intersection between two models and deletes the facets in the first model that intersects facets in the second model.  This feature is useful as a preliminary step to a paste operation.  The model to be pasted can first be trimmed where it sinks below the base model, then the unconnected islands below the surface can be deleted (with Delete Nonconnected Islands in the REPAIR menu), then the models can be pasted more smoothly.  The models can first be oriented, positioned, and scaled with "Reorient/Translate/Scale Model ... [Tab]" in the UTILITIES-Transform menu.

Paste One Model Onto Another ... [Ctrl+V]
Allows you to paste one model onto another.  The models can first be oriented, positioned, and scaled with "Reorient/Translate/Scale Model ... [Tab]" in the UTILITIES-Transform menu.  The model to be pasted should have a distinct and clean outer boundary, and the model should be positioned so its entire boundary is as flush as possible with the surface of the model to which it is to be pasted.  The "Trim Model at Intersection" function above is useful in helping you achieve this (see above).  In general, it is best if the model to be pasted contains no holes.  They can be filled with the filling tools in the REPAIR menu.  However, if holes are present, they are projected to the base surface so the projected base surface areas can be retained.

VP-Sculpt asks you to indicate from a list the model to be pasted and then the model to be pasted on. VP-Sculpt then projects the boundary of the first model onto the surface of the second. The interior of the projection on the first model is deleted and the resulting hole is stitched together and smoothed with the outer boundary of the pasted model.  VP-Sculpt then defines a closed Spine Area around the stitch region. This area is useful for further blending the surfaces with "Smooth [F9]" in the AREA menu. After the paste operation, the combined model has the same name as the original pasted-to model.  You should use "Save-As" in the FILE menu if you wish to save the new model under a different model name (if you don't want the original model to be overwritten).

"Save Area to File" in the FILE menu is useful in combination with this feature. A portion of a model can be saved and later pasted onto the same or another model.

See "Paste a piece of one model onto another model" for more information on how to use this feature.


Convert Model Units >
Sub menu for converting model coordinates from one unit system to another.


Define and Output Face Geometry ... [\]
Prompts you to define 13 key anatomical landmarks, the plane of symmetry (sagittal plane), and the line of sight plane (transverse plane) for a human face.  All of this information is stored in an ASCII DAT (*.dat) file.

The landmark points are the outer corner of the right eye (right endocanthion), the inner corner of the right eye (right exocanthion), the inner corner of the left eye (left endocanthion), the outer corner of the left eye (left exocanthion), the outer base point of the right nostril (right alare), the outer base point of the left nostril (left alare), the corner of the right side of the mouth (right cheilion), the corner of the left side of the mouth (left cheilion), the attachment point of the right ear lobe to the cheek (right otobasion inferius), the attachment point of the left ear lobe to the cheek (left otobasion inferius), the bottom center of the chin (menton/gnathion), the midline point between the eyebrows (glabella), and the midline base point below the nose (subnasale).


Transform Menu

Reorient/Translate/Scale Model ... [Tab]
Allows you to reorient, translate, and scale the current model about its center relative to the x-y-z coordinate system.  The fixed x-y plane reference is shown as a gridded red plane. The x, y and z axes are shown as red, green and blue vectors respectively.  To reorient the model, hold down the SPACEBAR and left mouse button, along with option keys, and move the mouse. With no option keys held down, mouse motion rotates the model about intuitive screen axes. When the CTRL key is held down, up and down mouse motion rotates the model about an axis perpendicular to the screen.  To translate the model in the plane of the screen, hold down the SPACEBAR and left mouse button, and move the mouse in the direction you want to translate. To translate the model perpendicular to the plane of the screen, hold down the SPACEBAR, the ALT key, and left mouse button, and move the mouse up or down to translate the model out or in respectively. To scale the model by the same factor in all directions, hold down the SPACEBAR, S key, and left mouse button, and move the mouse up or down. To scale the model in one coordinate axis direction only, hold down the SPACEBAR, the X, Y, or Z key, and left mouse button, and move the mouse up or down.

When the SPACEBAR is not held down, the left mouse button, option keys, and mouse motion control the view in the normal fashion (see General Controls).

Translate Model With Vector ...
Allows you to translate the current model relative to the x-y-z coordinate system according to a specified vector.

Scale Model With Factor(s) ...
Allows you to scale the current model in any or all of the three coordinate directions (x, y and z axes). A scale factor greater than 1 will enlarge the model in the specified direction and a fractional scale factor will reduce the size.


Mirror Model About the Mirror Plane
Replaces the current model with its mirror image with respect to the currently defined mirror plane (see the Mirror Image sub menu in the Select menu).


Center Model at Origin
Translates all of the current model vertex coordinates so that the geometric center of the model is located at the coordinate system origin. This is useful because certain functions (e.g., rotation and scaling) are applied relative to the origin.

Return Model to Original Origin
Reverses the "Center Model at Origin" process and translates the current model back to its original location in space.


Align Two Models with Three Points ... [[]
Allows you to align one model with another by picking three corresponding points on the two models.  The first model is translated and rotated into alignment with the second based on the indicated points.  The points should not be in a straight line and they should match as close as possible between the two models.


Convert Model Units Menu

m to in
Convert model units from meters to inches. Every coordinate is multiplied by the conversion factor: 100.0 / 2.54.

cm to in
Convert model units from centimeters to inches. Every coordinate is multiplied by the conversion factor: 1.0 / 2.54.

mm to in
Convert model units from millimeters to inches. Every coordinate is multiplied by the conversion factor: 0.1 / 2.54.


in to m
Convert model units from inches to meters. Every coordinate is multiplied by the conversion factor: 0.0254.

in to cm
Convert model units from inches to centimeters. Every coordinate is multiplied by the conversion factor: 2.54.

in to mm
Convert model units from inches to millimeters. Every coordinate is multiplied by the conversion factor: 25.4.


Specify Conversion Factor ...
Convert model units according to a user-specified conversion factor.
 


REPAIR Menu

See "Repair and prepare an imported file for use in VP-Sculpt" and "Repair a region with extremely bad data" for recommendations on how to use some of these functions.


Delete Unconnected Vertices [Ctrl+1]
Removes all model vertices that have no neighboring facets.

Delete Null Facets [Ctrl+2]
Removes all degenerate model facets that have no area (because the facet vertices are collinear).

Delete Appended Facets ... [Ctrl+3]
Removes all facets that are connected to the current model through only a single vertex. These facets can represent topological problems in the model's interior or "bow tie" facets at the boundary.

Delete Bow Tie Vertices ... [Ctrl+4]
Removes all vertices that have more than two adjacent boundary edges. These usually represent undesirable restrictions in the surface (e.g., "bow tie" facets along the boundary).

Delete Improper Model Facets ... [Ctrl+5]
Removes all model facets that have an edge shared by more than two facets.

Delete Improper Area Facets ...
Removes all area facets that have an edge shared by more than two facets.

Delete Ends of Unidentified Boundaries ... [Ctrl+6]
Removes the ends of all "holes" and "outer boundaries" that cannot be closed. This often removes mesh topology errors allowing VP-Sculpt to better identify surrounding "holes" and "outer boundaries."

Replace Low Aspect Ratio Facets ... [Ctrl+7]
Removes all model facets that have an aspect ratio less than a user specified value where 0.0 corresponds to a flattened (zero area) facet and 1.0 corresponds to an equilateral triangle. To rid the model of only highly distorted facets, an aspect ratio cutoff of 0.1 (the default) is recommended. When a low aspect facets is removed, the surrounding geometry is adjusted to fill the resulting gaps (if there are any). This function can help get rid of useless facets and thin "sliver" triangles, and helps improve the results of shaded renderings.

Delete Nonconnected Islands ... [Ctrl+8]
Removes all facets that are not connected to the portion of the model indicated by the user (i.e., removes islands not connected to the selected island).

Delete Island ... [Ctrl+F8]
Removes all facets that are connected to the portion of the model indicated by the user (i.e., removes the selected island).


Fill All Holes ... [F4]
Finds and fills any holes in the model surface. No new vertices are created; rather, the algorithm bridges existing vertices on the hole boundaries with new facets. In the case of two or more holes sharing points on their boundaries, the algorithm may not fill all of the holes on the first pass. Usually, invoking the fill routine a second time will fill the remaining holes.  If a multiple attempts fail to fill all holes, it is because the surface has topology problems. "Delete Improper Facets" (see below) may help resolve this situation. Otherwise, you may try deleting areas that you suspect contain improper topology and then try to fill the holes again.

VP-Sculpt distinguishes between "holes" and "outer boundaries." A closed boundary is considered to be a "hole" if the model surface is to the right of the boundary when it is traversed counterclockwise (CCW) on the outward normal side of the surface. Otherwise, the boundary is assumed to be an "outer boundary." "Outer boundaries" are not filled by this function.

See "Fill a large complex hole" for recommendations on how to produce better fills of non small holes.

Fill All Outer Boundaries ... [F8]
Fills all "outer boundaries" (see Fill All Holes above) in the current model.

Fill All But Largest Hole ... [Ctrl+F4]
Fills all "holes" (see Fill All Holes above) except the one with the largest number of vertices.

Fill All But Largest Outer Boundary ... [Ctrl+F8]
Fills all "outer boundaries" (see Fill All Holes above) except the one with the largest number of vertices.

Fill Area Holes ... [F12]
Same as Fill All Holes above, except applied only to holes within the selected area.

Process Holes and Outer Boundaries Individually ... [Ctrl+P]
Allows you to interactively view and/or fill each individual "hole" and "outer boundary" in the current model. For each "hole" or "outer boundary" in the model, VP-Sculpt reorients the model so the hole or boundary is in clear view and allows you to fill it or skip it. You can manipulate the view which is temporarily centered on each hole/boundary. You can also toggle in and out of full/partial render mode. In the default partial render mode, only facets adjacent to the hole/boundary are rendered.


Normals >
Sub menu for reversing, reorienting, and recalculating model and area normals.


NORMALS Menu

Reverse Facet Normal ...
Allows you to reverse the facet normals for individually selected facets.

Reverse Model Normals
Reverses the vertex and facet normals for the entire model.


Reorient Area Normals ...
Reorients the area normals to match the normal orientation of a user-specified area facet. Only facets directly or indirectly connected to the picked facet are reoriented.

Reorient Model Normals ...
Reorients the current model normals to match the normal orientation of a user-specified facet. Only facets directly or indirectly connected to the picked facet are reoriented.


Recalculate Model Normals
Recalculates and normalizes the facet and normal vertices in the entire model.

Normalize Vertex Normals
Normalizes all of the current model vertex normals so their magnitudes are one.


FACE DATABASE Menu

This menu is used to store and retrieve information and JPEG thumbnail images for a collection of face models in an ASCII VP-Sculpt Face Database (SDB) file.  The following attributes can be stored for each model in the database:  gender (male or female), ethnicity (White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, Middle Eastern, other), age group (<20, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, >59).  Also, a collection of part models (forehead, nose, eyes, cheek, ear, mouth, chin, and jowl) and face geometry (planes of symmetry and key anatomical landmarks) can be stored for each face model.  The part models can be easily created using the "Custom Enclosed Area ... [C]" select tool (see Select menu) and "Save Area to File ..." (see File menu).   The database information and JPEG thumbnail images can be viewed via HTML files that are created automatically (see below).  Microsoft's Internet Explorer or Netscape's browser can be used to view these files.

The SDB file is an ASCII file that stores all of the attributes and full file paths (for DAT file, part files, and thumbnail image files) for each face model in the database.  You should use an organized directory/folder structure on your disk to store the database information.  The recommended structure is to have a dedicated folder for the database.  The SDB file should be stored in this folder and can have the same name as the folder.  It is recommended to have a separate folder for each database model.  The main model SCL file should be stored in the folder an can have the same name as the folder (e.g., model_1a).  The part files can be named by adding appropriate suffixes (e.g., model_1a_nose) and should be stored in the folder with the face geometry file (e.g., model_1a.dat) and thumbnail image files (e.g., model_1a.jpg and model_1a_nose.jpg).

See "Enter face model information into a VP-Sculpt face database"  for a recommended step-by-step procedure on how to use features in this menu.


Open Database ...
Open an existing SDB face database file.

Close Database
Close the current face database and clear it from memory.

Save Database [Ctrl+J]
Save all changes to the current face database to its SDB file.

Save Database As ...
Save the current face database to an SDB file of a different name.

Create New Database ...
Create a new face database in memory.


Open Database Model(s) ...
Open one or more models selected from a list of current face database models.

Edit Database Model Info ... [Alt+3]
Edit the database information for a model selected from a list of current face database models.  The face attributes, geometry file, part files, and thumbnail image files can be edited and stored in the database.

Delete Model(s) From Database ...
Delete one or more models selected from a list of current face database models.


Store or Edit Model Info in Database ... [J]
Store or edit information for the current model in the current face database.  The face attributes, geometry file, part files, and thumbnail image files can be specified and stored in the database.

Define and Output Face Geometry ... [Alt+1]
Input face planes and key anatomical landmarks for the current model and export the data to a DAT (*.dat) file.  This is the same as "Define and Output Face Geometry ... [\]" in the UTILITIES menu.

Store Thumbnail Image ... [Alt+2]
Capture and store a JPEG thumbnail image for the current model.  A white rectangle will appear on the screen to indicate the recommended size of the image.  You can zoom and pan the model and/or resize the window to have the model fill the rectangle.  Then you need to use HyderSnap or some other screen capture program to save the image within the rectangle as a JPEG file.


Search Database ... [Alt+4]
Search the current face database for models with selected attributes.  Any combination of gender, ethnicity, age group, and build attributes can be selected for a search.  Search results can be viewed (via an HTML interface) and individual models can be opened.

View HTML File for Database Model ...
Create an HTML file to view information and thumbnail images for a selected model in the current face database.

View HTML File for the Entire Database ...
Create an HTML file to view information and thumbnail images for all models in the current face database.


HELP Menu

About VP-Sculpt
Hides or unhides the dialog box displaying the VP-Sculpt version number and copyright notice.

Quick Reference
Hides or unhides the dialog box displaying the VP-Sculpt Controls information.  This is useful as a quick reference.