PointLightLab Tutorials

Tutorial - Using the "Model Viewer" Tool

The model viewer is intended as a way to visualiser the content of a model file and to locate specific frames for reference in scripts or audiotrack files. The viewer provides a simple interface for scrubbing through the frames of the model and examining how the points in the model move. The Model Viewer has a number of features for adjusting the way the frames can be visualised, including Scaling and Ghosting.

There are no editing capabilities included in the Model Viewer.

Finding the "Model Viewer" Tool

The model viewer can be found in two places. The first and easiest is on the Windows menu. The second if on the "Insert Bulk Pattern Layers" tool dialog.

Step 1 - Opening a model file

Once the Model Viewer dialog is open, click on the "Browse" button to load a model file. You will need to navigate to a directory that contains PointLightLab model files. (.pllm) If your copy of PointLightLab is installed in the default location you will find model files in C:\Program Files\DuncansTools\PointLightLab\Data\. We will use the SquatModel.pllm file. Select that file and click OK.

You should now see the first frame of the model file displayed as a simple biped of white points.

Loading the Squat Model File

Step 2 - Scrubbing the frames

If you drag the scroll bar below the picture of the biped you will see each frame of the biped displayed. By dragging the scroll bar quickly you can see the animated effect of the model. You will also notice that the number next to the scroll bar on the right hand side changes to indicate which frame you are currently viewing.

Step 3 - Examining the Statistics

On the right hand side of the dialog are a number of statistics for the model file. At the top you can see how many points are in the model and how many frames of animation.

Below these are the maximum and minimum values for the model at the currently selected frame. This provides some simple statistics that are of value for analysing a model file in some cases. By examining these statistics it is possible to pinpoint the exact frame where the biped is at their lowest point and at their highest point. This information is useful when syncing audio cues to model files.

These statistics can be hidden by clicking the "Hide Stats" button and revealed by clicking the "Show Stats" button. .

Step 4 - Adjusting the display options

The display of the model information is relatively small. By changing the three display properties below the scroll bar, we can improve the way the model is displayed. NOTE, this does not actually change the information in the model file. Rather it makes it more convenient to see in this viewer.

The scale value simply zooms in on the model. Depending on how the model is placed relative to the origin will determine if it remains centered.

The "Dot Size" property increases the visible size of the dots.

The Ghost Frames displays the preceding and following frames relative to the currently selected frame. This provides a useful tool for analysing the trajectories and relative speeds of the dots over the course of the model file.

Try changing the scale, dot size and Ghosting values to 3, 5 & 10. Then move the scroll bar to frame 14.

Show the Ghost frames before and after frame 14

Step 5 - Saving a snapshot

If you need to document the model files for experimental purposes, you can use the "Snap Shot" button at the lower left. This will create an 800x600 jpeg using the display setting you have selected. As the size will be scaled up slightly it will not match what you see exactly. Experiment a little to get the result you desire.

Wrap up

The model viewer is a useful tool that provides a visual display of the content of a model file.This can be used to answer all manner of questions about the model and the location of particular points at any frame.