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The Appearance Menu

  • Appearance - change the appearance of the surface being viewed
  • Color - change the color of the surface being viewed
  • Lights - modify the global and local lighting
  • Blend - set transparency, blending, depth buffer and fog options

Appearance | Style

Style Panel
The Style Panel (Appearance | Style)

Appearance | Materials

Choosing "Appearance | Appearance" from the iSight menu opens the Appearance panel.

Materials Panel
The Materials Panel (Appearance | Materials)

The Top button bar chooses the appearance mode, with buttons "1 2 3 4 B V". By default, these map to the following appearance attributes:

  • "1" - faces
  • "2" - edges
  • "3" - vertices
  • "4" - auxiliary
  • "B" - surface boundary, the boundary of the surface as a manifold
  • "V" - visual boundary, the boundary between figure and ground
Modes "1", "2", "3" and "4" can be used for modifying the materials of any of front faces, back faces, edges, or vertices. Modes "B" and "V" are fixed.

The Model options menu chooses the way in which the surface color is mapped. If you choose "Gaussian curvature" from the "Appearance | Color" panel, "Ambient and diffuse", for example means that the color by Gaussian curvature is interpreted as ambient and diffuse light. Choosing "none" as a model ignores the color from the "Appearance | Color" panel and uses colors from the "color" tab in this panel instead.

Use the two Sides options menus to choose coloring of front faces, back faces, edges and vertices. The two menus represent front and back -- which is which depends on the orientation of the polygons on the surface.

Other appearance options:

  • Smooth - makes the surface smooth for this mode
  • Lit - enable lighting for this mode
  • Size - change the line and point size
  • Nudge - adjust distance from camera to remove "stitching" effects (partially drawn grid lines)

Appearance | Custom Color

Choosing "Appearance | Color" from the iSight menu opens the Color panel.

Custom Color Panel
The Custom Color Panel (Appearance | Custom Color)
iSight colors surfaces in a variety of ways, including
  • Original - use the surface's original color
  • Normal - color by surface normal
  • Gaussian - color by a discrete approximation of Gaussian curvature
  • Mean - color by a discrete approximation of mean curvature
  • Area - color by polygon area
  • Direction - color by direction from the origin
  • Distance - color by distance from the origin
  • Random - color randomly
  • Checked - checkerboard color pattern (MESH format only)
  • Fade - fade according to distance from origin

Most of the color options allow for modifying the hue, saturation, value and alpha ("H", "S", "V" and "A"). The "scale" widget tunes the way the parameter (e.g. mean curvature) maps to the color scale.

In the "Fade" color mode, the surface fades in the interval from "Near" to "Far". For this to work, blending must be enabled ("Appearance | Blend", then choose enable from the "blend" notebook page.)

Appearance | Global Light

Choosing "Appearance | Lights" from the iSight menu opens the Lights panel, which is used to modify global and local lighting.

To modify global lights, choose the "Global" notebook page.

Global Light Panel
Global Lights (Appearance | Global Light)

Enable turns on/off all lights (global and local). The HSV widget modifies the brightness and color of the global ambient light.

Appearance | Lights

To modify local lights, choose the first "Local" notebook page.

Lights Panel
The Local Lights Panel (Appearance | Lights)
Use the 12345678 button bar to choose one of eight lights. Lights can be modified by:
  • Enable - turn light on/off
  • Ambient, Diffuse, Specular - adjust the brightness and color of these light attributes
  • Move - use the mouse to move a light. Pressing "Move" disables normal mouse motion.
  • Attach - attach the light to the surface so that moving the surface moves the light too
Use the second "Local" notebook page to modify attenuation and spotlight attributes.

Appearance | Blend

Choose "Appearance | Blend" from the iSight menu to open the Blend panel. The most commonly used options are:

  • Turn on/off transparency with "Blend | Enable"
  • Turn on/off depth buffer testing "Depth | Enable"
  • Turn on/off point and line anti-aliasing on the "Blend" notebook page.
Blend Panel
The Blend Panel (Appearance | Blend)

iSight Guide GANG