There are a number of advantages of being able to display additional information within the Showcase scene.
After our previous post highlighting how Autodesk Showcase can be driven from an external source, one of the questions that was raised was, "How can I emulate an automotive car configurator to allow a user to pick a hot spot and pop up information displays within the scene."
After coming up with a workflow I thought it may come in useful to share one method how this can be achieved.
I have published a quick overview on the steps required, but bear in mind you need to be familiar with Autodesk Showcase and the necessary steps to configure a model with alternative model materials, visibility and position. In addition the user must be familiar with modifying geometry position and size and creating storyboards and behaviours.
Step 1: Create label geometry and information required for Showcase
- Create some 3D geometry that will represent the label itself. (In my example using Inventor). A simple extruded rectangle is enough.
- Next create some images (using MS Powerpoint in this case) that represent the information you want to display.
- If using MS Powerpoint, with the images setup, use the SAVEAS to create the separate images of the technical information. PNG is a good image format to use.
Step 2: Import your label and create decals for the popup information.
- Import the 3D model that will represent the actual label.
- Position the label geometry to suit your Showcase model scene.
- Duplicate as necessary at the relevant positions.
- Create decal(s) from the PNG files saved earlier.
- Transparency can be applied to the Decal to only show the text based upon its colour.
- Apply the decals to the label objects.
Step 3: Animate the label (Optional)
In this example we want to show the label appearing via a slide up from the trigger point.
- To achieve this, it is possible to create a key frame animation of the label object.
- By creating a Behaviour keyframe animation (via the B shortcut key), you can set the label object transform properties (via Edit>Transform>Transform Properties) to have a zero value on its Z axis scale when you create the first key.
- Scaling the object back up to 1 (100% of original) and generating a keyframe a number of seconds later in time produces the desired animation effect.
Step 4: Display the labels via a ‘Trigger’
It is often required to display the labels when a user clicks on part of the model
- To configure the scene in order to only display the one label at a time, it is necessary to configure the scene is a suitable manner.
- First create Visibility Alternates (via the A shortcut key) including only one label per alternate PLUS an empty one (no selections added) so the scene can be ‘reset’ to the point of no labels.
- Now most importantly, a Storyboard (via the U shortcut key) must be created for each label. Adding the required alternates, behaviours and shots to each respective storyboard, allows you to drive the storyboard manually or by keyboard shortcuts/triggers/external commands.
- To allow a user to click on a geometry ‘hotspot’ to make the label appear, a Trigger must be created.
- Within the Behaviours area, create a Trigger and add the selected geometry via the right hand mouse options. Now within the Storyboard you can associate the new Trigger to the Storyboard item.
As if by magic, now by going into Presentation mode (via the Tab shortcut key), clicking in the ‘hotspot’ area will display the animated label.
Toggling to a different Trigger will then change storyboard items and if configured correctly will turn off the previous label on move onto the next.
So there you have it, a workflow to dynamically show label information within a scene
We hope you find this tip useful.