Camera mode vs. Helicopter mode

Questions and answers about 3Dconnexion devices on Windows.

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cosmasad1
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Camera mode vs. Helicopter mode

Post by cosmasad1 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:34 pm

I'm new to the Space Navigator and need it for flying through architectural models (Rhino). Can someone tell me the difference between camera mode and helicopter mode, and why Lock horizon is only available in camera mode, but not in helicopter mode?

Is there a manual for Space navigator that would have answers to these?

Thank you.

Barbara
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Re: Camera mode vs. Helicopter mode

Post by Barbara » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:02 pm

Hello cosmasad1 -

Camera Mode and Helicopter Mode provide different viewpoints on a model. With Camera Mode the navigation behaves as if the Space Navigator is a camera being held in your hand with the view changing as you move. Push the device cap right and the camera moves to the right (the scene moves to the left). Lift up and the camera moves up.

In Helicopter Mode you are moving your view around the model as if you were in a helicopter flying around it.

Lock Horizon was designed primarily with architectural models in mind. When working with architecture you need to be able to change your view without having the building flip upside down or the horizon change to some odd angle.

The manual for the Space Navigator is in the Help section of 3Dconnexion Properties. There is a Help section called 'Application Specific' that has settings information for the applications that have 3Dconnexion add-ins.

For all of the other applications providing support for 3Dconnexion devices the device support and thus the options available are added by the application's developer. Options and functions can change across application versions. The support information for using a 3Dconnexion device in this type of application comes from the application developer.

Rhino is an application whose developers added support for the 3Dconnexion devices inside their application. The way the Space Navigator works inside Rhino and the available options are determined by the Rhino developers. McNeel provides the support for working with 3Dconenxion devices inside Rhino.

One of their documentation links for example is this one for Rhino 5.
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Barbara

cosmasad1
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Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:16 am

Re: Camera mode vs. Helicopter mode

Post by cosmasad1 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:20 am

Hey Barbara,

I really appreciate your answer, but I'm not sure I understand the difference between camera mode and helicopter mode. You say:

"Camera Mode and Helicopter Mode provide different viewpoints on a model. With Camera Mode the navigation behaves as if the Space Navigator is a camera being held in your hand with the view changing as you move. Push the device cap right and the camera moves to the right (the scene moves to the left). Lift up and the camera moves up.

In Helicopter Mode you are moving your view around the model as if you were in a helicopter flying around it."


For moving around complicated architectural models with lots of corridors, rooms, subrooms, changing levels etc. what would the pros and cons be of each alternative?

Also, why is it that with Camera mode the option to lock the horizon is available, but with Helicopter mode it is not? Is it because it is an intrinsic part of Helicopter mode? Meaning you can't have Helicopter mode without the locked horizon.

Thank you.

Barbara
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Re: Camera mode vs. Helicopter mode

Post by Barbara » Tue Feb 07, 2017 2:55 pm

Hello cosmasad1 -

'Lock Horizon' can also be described as disabling the ability to roll around the Z axis. In Camera Mode you can choose to have the horizon locked or not.

Helicopter Mode instead specifies that panning stays parallel to the ground.

Or in slightly different words "Irrespective of the applied tilt the 3D Mouse will move the view forward and backward parallel to the world's plane. Pulling the cap up/down will, irrespective of the applied tilt, directly increase/decrease the distance (height) to the world's plane".

It is the Rhino developers who specify exactly how the different functions will behave inside Rhino.

Choosing between them is partly personal preference. It can depend on whether you are looking at your model relative to the desktop or to the screen - so there is not a single right or best way. IRL the best navigation mode is the one that looks right to you and doesn't flip you upside down unexpectedly.
---------------
Barbara

cosmasad1
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Re: Camera mode vs. Helicopter mode

Post by cosmasad1 » Tue Feb 07, 2017 4:42 pm

Hey Barbara,

Sorry to be so dense. But when you say " It can depend on whether you are looking at your model relative to the desktop or to the screen." What do you mean? By desktop do you mean the computer's desktop and how is that different from the screen?

Thank you.

Barbara
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Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 11:11 am

Re: Camera mode vs. Helicopter mode

Post by Barbara » Wed Feb 08, 2017 2:05 pm

Hello cosmasad1 -

It's not you - 'Desktop' and 'Screen' are descriptions I should have defined. Desktop orientation assumes the device is sitting on the desk while screen orientation assumes the bottom of your device is on your screen. The viewpoint that looks correct to you will depend on whether you are looking at your model relative to the desktop or to the screen.

These are imaginary points in space that help describe the way we expect 6DOF [degrees of freedom] navigation to work. The 6 directions [ Pan Up|Down, Pan Left|Right, Zoom, Tilt, Spin and Roll] look different depending on the location of your point of view.

One way to visualize that is to start with a model able to move in all 6 directions and use the Space Navigator to move in each of the axis directions. The direction you expect the model to move in response to the Space Navigator cap movement will be different depending on whether your point of view is the desktop plane or the screen plane.
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Barbara

cosmasad1
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2017 3:16 am

Re: Camera mode vs. Helicopter mode

Post by cosmasad1 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:46 pm

Thank you, Barbara. I appreciate the clarification.

I have very complicated models to fly through and this thing is very exciting.

Thank you.

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