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How it works
Changing the drawing speed
PlantStudio can draw plants with more or less speed or detail depending on
what you are doing with them. This is called the drawing speed.
Draw as Bounding Boxes: If you are rearranging and rotating plants you will want quick responses. This option draws the leaves, petals and other 3D objects on plants only as boxes that show where they are.
Draw as Wire Frames: If you are changing parameters on a single plant or randomizing plants, you will want more visual detail to see the effects of your parameter changes. This option shows 3D objects as wire-frame structures.
Draw as Solids: If you are preparing to export a picture, you will want maximum detail to see exactly what you will be getting. This option shows 3D objects as solid structures.
Custom: Sometimes you might want to control PlantStudio's drawing options yourself to create specific visual effects. In the Options menu you can choose between the three sets of drawing options (Draw as Bounding Boxes, Draw as Wire Frames, or Draw as Solids), or you can set the drawing options yourself. If you choose the Draw Custom menu item, you will see the Custom Drawing Options window, where you can change individual drawing options. You can also get to this window from the Preferences window (choose Preferences from the Edit menu). The drawing options are
Draw stems: You will normally keep this option turned on. Turning it off removes stems so all you see is the 3D objects floating in space. There is no reason to ever turn stems off, but it might produce some interesting effects. Draw 3D objects: Normally you will keep this option turned on, but you can turn it off temporarily to see only stems. Draw 3D object bounding boxes only: Drawing 3D objects takes up about 90% of the drawing time, so reducing their complexity to only two triangles makes the drawing go much faster when you are moving plants around. Fill polygons: If this box is unchecked the plants will draw with a wire-frame look. Drawing is slightly faster with unfilled polygons. Draw lines between polygons: The lines between the polygons of a 3D object are not the same as leaf veins, but they can give a hint of veining, and they tend to make the leaves look a little more 3D in the absence of true shading. Line contrast index: If you are drawing lines between the polygons of a 3D object, you can choose any contrast for the lines between zero (same as not drawing lines) and ten (maximum contrast). The higher the contrast, the darker and more noticeable the lines. We've had the best results with low contrasts, around 3 or 4. Sort polygons: If this box is checked, all polygons (in all plants) are sorted from back to front when drawn. Otherwise polygons are just drawn in the order they are encountered when working through the plants. Sorting polygons takes a little longer, but looks a little more realistic. Sort 3D objects as one item: If this box is checked, the program sorts all the polygons in each 3D object together when it sorts all the polygons. If you have the Sort polygons option on, it usually looks best if you check this option too. But this does take a little longer than the plain sort.
Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.