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3D Mouse Support in Tecplot Products


This short video will go over how to use a 3D mouse in Tecplot 360 2016 R2.

Once you have your data in, one of the first things most people want to do is rotate their data to investigate all sides of the 3D data. However, users often spend a lot of their time working between CAD, Meshing, CFD programs and Tecplot which each have different methods of rotation. Now that the 3Dconnexion 3D mouse is supported, you can unify the 3D controls for your dataset between many 3D graphic programs.

Default and Dominant Mode

Moving the 3D mouse allows smooth rotation in multiple directions at once when in default mode. Note, that you can also switch to dominant mode which allows a single axis of rotation at a time by going into the 3Dconnexion properties panel, in which I have a button for, and then select the advanced settings and toggle on “dominant.” As the knob on the mouse is rotated, only one axis of motion is moving at a time. This is helpful for newer users as it gives a simple way to learn the actions of the mouse. We’ll go ahead and turn off dominant mode.

View Mappings

Tecplot also supports the default view mappings such as Iso, Fit, Front, and Right. For this video we are using the mid-range SpaceMouse Pro which has four buttons that can be set up to custom buttons. Right now, isometric view 1, bottom view, left view, and undo are mapped. The Iso button can be changed to the “O” hotkey by going into the menu and changing it to “O.” By doing this, the Origin of Rotation is set to where the regular mouse cursor is touching a surface. Note that for the simple two-button SpaceMouse, the default radial menus to access the buttons we have discussed can be used with exception of the “O” hotkey.

Orthographic Mode

When in the default-view mode, orthographic mode, the object moves in view as you zoom. If “alt” is pressed while moving the 3D mouse, it will move the clipping plane. This option is useful because it can cut back the outer layer of the objects and gives users the ability to investigate inside of their dataset.

Perspective Mode

Tecplot also supports a second view mode, perspective, in which the mouse movements are slightly different. We can change the mode to perspective by going into View > 3D View Details and clicking on Use Perspective. In this mode, when we zoom in, we’re moving the viewer position (thinking about it kind of like a camera) as opposed to the object in orthographic mode. This is useful as you can move the viewer position inside the object and view around. In this mode it is critical that the center of rotation is updated by pressing the “O” key (or the button mapped as “O”) on the 3D mouse as you move the object, which helps keep the object in control. If we press “alt” while zooming, the view will zoom in similarly to a photography camera by changing the field of view.

You can explore all of these modes by using the 3D View Details dialog as we zoom around and following how the field of view and viewer width is changed as the mouse is moved in different ways.

Finally, the 3D mouse is currently only available on Windows platforms.

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