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How it works
PlantStudio Super-Speed TourHere's a quick list of facts to glance over if you want to get started with PlantStudio right away. When you're ready, try the PlantStudio tutorial. What PlantStudio is for
PlantStudio exists purely to draw pictures of plants. It uses numbers (parameters) you specify to simulate and draw 3D plants.
PlantStudio can't draw every plant that exists, but it does cover a variety of common herbaceous plants.
You can copy pictures (bitmaps) of your plants to the Windows clipboard, or you can save or print the pictures.
You can write out one plant at a time to a DXF file for use in 3D programs.
You can create image hose nozzles for MetaCreations Painter and picture tubes for Paint Shop Pro.
You can create numbered animation files of growing or revolving plants to use in Painter or many other animation studios. Memory use
If you can't devote at least eight megabytes of memory exclusively to PlantStudio, you should turn off plant bitmaps. They speed up drawing considerably but also increase PlantStudio's memory requirements by several megabytes. Starting PlantStudio for the first time
When PlantStudio starts up for the first time, you will see an empty file with no plants in it. You should make a new plant or open a plant file. Using hints
There are long hints (text popups) for nearly everything you can point the cursor at everywhere in the program. If you are not sure what something does, hold the cursor still over it and see if a hint appears. If you don't see any long hints, turn them on. You can also control the hint timing.
Hints only appear when PlantStudio is on top in relation to other programs, including the help system. For example, if you are looking at a help window and you move the mouse over an item on a PlantStudio window behind the help window, you won't see a hint because the help system is on top. You can tell which window is on top because its title bar is a special color. Using plant files
In the main window of PlantStudio is a list of plants in the open plant file. Visible plants have a seedling in front of their name. Click on the seedlings to hide or show plants. Visible plants can be seen in the drawing area. If you can't see any plants, choose Scale to Fit from the Layout menu.
You can only have one file open at a time. To move plants between two plant files, use the plant mover (choose Plant Mover from the File menu). Using the drawing area mouse modes
The first four buttons on the toolbar under the menu on the main window determine what the mouse does in the drawing area. The modes are:
Select/drag plants: Click to select plants; click and drag to move them.
Scroll: Click and drag to move the drawing area viewpoint.
Rotate plants: Click and drag to rotate the selected plants.
Magnify: Click to zoom in; right-click or Shift-click to zoom out. Selecting plants
You can select plants in the main window by clicking on them in the plant list or drawing area.
In the plant list, Shift-click or Control-click in the plant list to select more than one plant.
In the drawing area, Shift-click or click and drag to select more than one plant. You can only select plants in the drawing area when the mouse is in Select/drag mode .
The plant you select first is called the focused plant. It is different from the other plants you select because you will see information about it in the panels labeled Life cycle, Parameters, and Parts.
If the Show Focused Plant Only option is on in the Options menu, all other plants will disappear when you select a new focused plant. In this mode you can only select one plant at a time.
To deselect all plants, click outside of any plant in the drawing area, or click below all the plants in the list in the plant list, or choose Deselect from the Layout menu.
You cannot select individual parts of plants (like leaves) because the plants don't come apart.
If you click on one plant and get another, the other plant is first in the drawing order. This is more likely to happen when you are not using plant bitmaps. Drawing speed
You can choose between Draw as Bounding Boxes, Draw as Wire Frames, Draw as Solids, and Draw Custom drawing speeds. Choose one of these drawing speeds from the Options menu.
When you copy, save or print a picture, or create an animation or nozzle/tube file, the current drawing speed is used. Make sure you set the drawing speed before you choose the menu item to create the output. Changing plant age and parameters
In the Life cycle panel, drag the red line back and forth to change the plant age. Click Animation to see a plant grow through its life cycle quickly.
In the Rotation panel, change the x, y and z rotations of selected plants.
In the Parameters panel, choose a parameter section from the list and change values in the parameter panels.
The Parts panel is for evaluating how plant parts grow. There is nothing to click on there; it's for display only. Using 3D objects
Leaves, flowers, fruits, buds and root tops are drawn using 3D objects.
You can choose from a library of 3D objects or make your own.
3D objects have two colors: the front face and back face color. If you change one of these colors and you can't see anything happening, change the other face color. Breeding
Breeding makes new plants from existing plants by randomly changing ("mutating") the plant parameters. You can breed from one or two parents.
To breed plants, select one or two plants in the main window, then choose Breed from the Plant menu. The new generation of offspring will appear in the breeder.
In the breeder, double-click on single plants to breed, or choose two parents by Shift-clicking and choose Breed from the Breed menu.
You can drag plants out of the breeder to the main window.
Breeder plants are NOT saved with the plant file and disappear when you leave the program. Making time series
Making a time series creates a series of plants, each at a different age. This is useful when you want to see how a plant grows.
To make a time series, select a plant in the main window, then choose Make Time Series from the Plant menu. The new series will appear in the time series window.
You can drag plants out of the time series window to the main window.
Time series plants are NOT saved with the plant file and disappear when you leave the program.
Updated: March 10, 1999. Questions/comments on site to email@example.com.
Copyright © 1998, 1999 Paul D. Fernhout & Cynthia F. Kurtz.