As you navigate around and through your 3D model, the location of the model in space remain constant. It’s your current view (viewpoint), of the model that’s changing. You can see the current view properties in the Properties panel when no objects are selected. The Camera (X,Y,Z) represents your location as you view the model. Pretend you’re viewing it through a camera lens. The Target (X,Y,Z) is where the camera lens is pointed. As you navigate around the model, the Camera and Target coordinates update accordingly. Those coordinates are read-only in the Properties Panel. There are other View properties that you can edit. Perspective is the most important controls to be aware of for navigation purposes.
You can set Perspective to On or Off for the current view. When set to On, the view displays in visual perspective mode (left). When set to Off, it displays in parallel perspective mode (right).
Mouse and Keyboard Navigation Options
One of the easiest and most common methods for navigating around a 3D model is with the mouse and keyboard. Simply press the Shift key and middle mouse button as you move the mouse to orbit the model. The cursor changes to an orbit icon indicating you’re in orbit mode.
There are many other mouse and keyboard navigation methods that you’re probably familiar with from your 2D CAD experience. Most of those methods are also useful for 3D modeling. Below are a few of my favorites.
- Zoom in/out – Roll the mouse wheel. You can zoom all the way into a model and walk around inside it when in perspective mode. In isometric mode you can only zoom in very close, but not go inside.
- Zoom Extents – Double-click on the mouse wheel.
- Pan – Press the mouse wheel or middle mouse button.
Refer to the Help system for a comprehensive list of view manipulation controls using the mouse and keyboard.
Tutorial: How to setup the 3DConnexion 3D mouse in BricsCAD
Click here to watch
LookFrom Navigation Tool
The LookFrom tool is displayed in the upper right corner of the Drawing area. It’s comparable to the ViewCube in AutoCAD. Click on different places on the LookFrom tool to display the view from standard viewpoints. By default, it includes Top, Left, Right, Front, Back, Top Back Left, Top Back Right, Top Front Left, and Top Front Right. As you pass the cursor over a viewpoint, the relevant icon appears at the center and a tooltip displays below. You can press the Ctrl key to access similar options for Bottom viewpoints.
A right-click menu offers access to additional controls and settings. To learn more refer to BricsCAD Online Help.