1. Fixed Button Bar
2. Mouse Usage
2.1 Play Mode
2.2 Pause Mode
2.3 Contruct Mode
2.4 Delete Mode

3. Control Panel 1
4. Control Panel 2
4.1 Muscles Panel
4.1 Build Panel
5. Control Panel 3
6. File Panel
6.1 How to load the account?



1. Fixed Button Bar

The Fixed Button Bar is the applet's most important system of control. With the only exception of the File Panel, the Fixed Button Bar is always visible on the top of the applet's screen, and it allows you to access all of the applet's features. The fixed button bar is made by 8 buttons each of which has a specific function. In the following list we'll analize briefly all the button's functions.

Fixed Button Bar
  1. When this button is pressed the control panel 1 is showed on the left of the applet's screen.
  2. Pressing this button it is possible to access to the file panel where sw3d's users will be able to manage their own accounts.
  3. Pressing this button the play mode is activated and the model simulation in a 3D physical environment will start.
  4. When this button is pressed, the simulation will stop and the pause mode is activated. In pause mode the buttons construct and delete will become active.
  5. The construct button can be pressed when the applet is in pause mode. When this button is pressed the construct mode is active and new models can be created.
  6. The delete button can be pressed when the applet is in pause mode as well as the construct button. When this button is pressed the delete mode is active and elements of a model can be deleted.
  7. Pressing this button an interactive help panel will appear on the screen. This button can be pressed in each moment the fixed button bar is showed on the top of the screen.
  8. When this button is pressed the control panels 2 and 3 are showed on the right of the applet's screen.

UP^



2. Mouse Usage

The applet was conceived in order to be managed mainly using the mouse. One of the major problem that was necessary to solve in sw3d programming was to allow users to construct and interact with models, in a 3D environment, simply using a 2D tool like the mouse. It was not simple but, I think, the final result is pretty good and intuitive. Nevertheless, before starting to construct, it is necessary to know the following ways in which the mouse is used.

First of all it is important to say that the applet, for its complexity, works at one's best with a three buttons mouse. In case your mouse should have just two buttons... don't worry. You can still use the applet since the middle button functionalities are secondary.

The mouse works differently according to which of the following four modes the applet is running in: play mode, pause mode, construct mode and delete mode. For this reason in the following we will discuss each of these four modes.

UP^

2.1 Play Mode
In play mode the fixed button bar looks like in the following picture.

Play Mode

In this mode the mouse works in this way:

Left mouse button: drags camera around the model in azimuth and altitude. It also allows you to grab masses on the model to move it around.

Center mouse button: the center button does the same as the left button but does not allow you to grab masses. Also when there is more than one model in the environment clicking the center button will change which model the camera is focused on.

Right mouse button: zooms toward or away from the model when the mouse is dragged up or down. When dragged left or right it rotates the camera view around the model in azimuth. It also allows you to change a free mass to a fixed mass.

UP^

2.2 Pause Mode
In pause mode the fixed button bar looks like in the following picture.

Pause Mode

In this mode the mouse works in this way:

Left mouse button: same as pause mode. Drags camera around the model in azimuth and altitude. It also allows you to grab masses on the model to move it around.

Center mouse button: moves the camera in a 2 dimensional plane only. Also when there is more than one model in the environment you can click on a mass in a model that does not have the cameras attention in order to focus it on that model.

Right mouse button: same as pause mode. Zooms toward or away from the model when the mouse is dragged up or down. When dragged left or right it rotates the camera view around the model in azimuth. It also allows you to change a free mass to a fixed mass.

UP^

2.3 Construct Mode
In construct mode the fixed button bar looks like in the following picture.

Construct Mode

In this mode the mouse works in this way:

Left mouse button: click once to create a mass and spring and again to create another mass and start a new spring. To stop creating masses and springs click the right button.

Center mouse button: moves camera in 2 dimensional plane and allows you to grab masses. Does not change cameras focus.

Right mouse button: after clicking the left button to create masses/springs you can click the right button to stop creating masses/springs. It also allows you to zoom toward and away from the model when clicked in an open area.

'q' key: When the 'q' key is held down both the left and right mouse buttons allow you to move the camera around the model in azimuth and altitude.

UP^

2.4 Delete Mode
In delete mode the fixed button bar looks like in the following picture.

Delete Mode

In this mode all the buttons basically perform the same functions as in pause mode but also allow you to click on a mass and delete it.


UP^

3. Control Panel 1

The control panel 1 is very similar to the one in sodaconstructor. It allows to modify the physical constants of the 3D environment and, also, to set the muscle's phase, stretch and frequency. There are just few differences that will be discussed with reference to the following image:


Control Panel 1
  1. The halt wave button stops the muscles' movement. It can be pressed in each moment of the applet working. When the wave is halted it is also possible to act on the vertical strip "b" to move manually the wave position.
  2. This vertical slide bar allows to change the wave velocity of all the muscles in a model. When the halt button is pressed this vertical strip changes its functionality: clicking and dragging the mouse on it, the muscles can be moved manually.
  3. This is the wave box. Drag the mouse from left to right to increase the waves amplitude and if there are any muscles placed in here (indicated by a thin grey line with a "bulb" on it) you can drag them up or down to line up with whatever guide lines you want and you can drag the bulb from left to right to increase/decrease the muscles relative amplitude (this is the same value as 'st' in CP2).
  4. On this vertical strip you see short thin black horizontal lines. These indicate segments of wavelength and are a guide for precise muscle placement. Click and drag up or down in this strip to increase/decrease the number of guide lines.
  5. This button allows to change a spring in a muscle or a muscle into a spring. This button will become active only when a spring or a muscle has been selected with the mouse.
  6. These three vertical slide bars allow to change the three basic constants of the 3D simulation environments: Gravity, Friction and K that is the "stiffness" of springs.
UP^

4. Control Panel 2

The control panel 2 contains a lot of features that help users in construction of complex 3D models. The first time the button 'control panels 2/3' is pressed, control panel 2 will appear. Then, pressing the buttons cp2 and cp3, it is possible to swich from the control panel 2 to the control panel 3 and viceversa. Both these control panels will be displayed on the right side of the screen.

The CP2 is structured in two main sections: the 'muscles panel' and the 'build panel'. The 'muscles panel' works always while the 'build panel' works only when the 'pause' button is pressed (pause mode, construct mode, delete mode). In the CP2 there are also the buttons 'play', 'pause' and 'construct' that work at the same way of the correspondent buttons in the fixed button bar

In the following the features in the 'muscles panel' and in the 'build panel' are described.
UP^

4.1 Muscles Panel
The muscles panel in the CP1 looks like in the following picture.

Control Panel 2
  • Using the lr text window on a selected muscle or spring it is possible to set in precise way its Length ar Rest.
  • Using the wr text window on a selected muscle it is possible modify the Ratio of the Wave speed for that muscle. The default value of this parameter is 1.0 for each muscle. Using this parameter it is possible to have models with muscles having different wave speed.
  • Using the st text window on a selected muscle it is possible to change in exact way the amount of muscle STretch or relative amplitude of that muscle.
  • The zip button make a ZIPspring. This button is active only when a spring or a muscle is selected.
  • The mtlar button (Make This Length At Rest) changes the original length of a selected spring or muscle to the current compressed or stretched length.
  • The this button make the value in the text window on the left, the current rest length of the spring or muscle selected. The value in the text window can, obviously, be changed.
UP^

4.2 Build Panel
The options in the build panel become active only when the pause button is pressed. In the following picture is highlighted the build panel.

Control Panel 2
  • The construct button works at the same way of the correspondent button in the fixed button bar.
  • The del button works at the same way of the delete button in the fixed button bar.
  • The clear button Clears all masses, muscles and springs in the 3D environment.
  • The delete Gr. button Delete an entire Group of connected masses.
  • The copy button make a Copy of a group of connected masses.
  • The refl. button make a Reflected copy of a group of connected masses.
  • The size button change the model's Size according to the value on the the text window on the left.
  • The phase button changes the Phase of connected muscles according to the percent value in the text window on the left.
  • The join button Joins two masses connected by the selected spring.
  • The MSS button makes Multiple Stiffness Springs.

  • The undo button allows to rescue models from accidental changements. The applet memorize the last 10 modifies.
  • The inv. button Inverts the motion of a model: when in the same 3D environment there are more than one model, the motion will be inverted only for the touched model.
  • The move button allows to Move (translation) a model using the mouse. Left mouse button moves the model up/down left/right while the right button moves the model to and fro.
  • The rot. button allows to Rotate a model using the mouse. Right button rotates a model arond a vertical axis while the left button rotates a model aroud horizontal axes.
  • The grid button visualizes a Grid in the construction plane.
  • The fix plane button Fixes in memory the position of a construction Plane.
  • The swPl button Switches from one fixed Plane to another.
  • The delPl button Deletes a fixed construction Plane.
  • The draw plane button Draws a construction Plane.

Control Panel 2
UP^

5. Control Panel 3

The control panel 3 contains a number of functions relating to the visualization modes of the applet. These functions are described in the following comments.


Control Panel 3
  1. This button restore the default sw3d visualization mode.
  2. Using these buttons it is possible to change the 3D environment aspect. The ground on button visualizes the ground. The mirror button visualize the model's image reflected on the ground. The light button lights the model. The show name button shows the model's name and author.
  3. Using these four buttons it is possible to change the visualization mode of the models. The buttons 1 shows the model in wireframe; the buttons 2 shows the models in sodaconstructor way; the button 3 shows solid springs and muscles in approximate way (default); the button 4 shows solid springs and muscles in exact way.
  4. The free flight button actives the free visualization mode. Simply moving the mouse with the left button pressed, it is possible to fly around the model in very intuitive way. It is possible to change the flight velocity pressing the buttons + and -. At last, when the auto view button is pressed, the point of view starts automatically to fly around the model when the mouse remains untouched for few seconds.
  5. Using these two buttons it is possible to increase or decrease the frame rate of the applet. The default value is five (five little red squares under the fixed button bar). This means that the applet visualize a frame each five steps of calculus.
  6. These two buttons become active when there are separated parts in the same 3D environment. Using the button jump it is possible to shift the camera focus from a group of connected springs and masses to another in ciclical way. Using the button barycenter the camera focus goes to the barycenter of all masses in the 3D environment.

UP^

6. File Panel

Pressing the file button in the fixed button bar it will appear the file panel from which it is possible to manage our own accounts or, also, open a new accounts. The file panel looks like the following picture.


File Panel
  1. From this window it is possible to select a particular model in the account to load or erase it.
  2. Pressing these buttons it is possible to show in the window 'a' the models in our own accounts or the sw3d's default models.
  3. In this window the preview of the selected model will be showed (this work only in the heavy load login mode).
  4. In this window the preview of the current model running in the applet will be showed.
  5. These buttons allow to manage our own accounts. It is possible to login, logout, load or delete models in the account, save new models and, at last, submit our own creations to the 'Springs World Fauna'. Moreover, pressing the button 'return current', the applet will return to the main screen.
UP^

6.1 How to load the account?
It is possible to load an account in two ways: using the 'light mode' or the 'heavy mode'. After the login it will appear the following message that ask us how to load the account.

Light/Heavy load

  • Pressing the light button the models in the account will not really be loaded in memory but just their names: this allows to load in very fast ways big accounts. In this case all the functions in the file panel will remain active with the only exception that it isn't possible to show the preview of the selected model.
    Attention: since models are not really loaded, you will have to stay online to load a model stored in your account (double-clicking in the window 'a' or pressing the button 'load selected').

  • Pressing the heavy button all the models in the account will be all loaded in memory: this may take a while for big accounts. In this case you have to be online just to save new models.
    Attention: this modality of loading is very dispendious in terms of 'web traffic' so a limit has been added. For all the accounts that cointain more than a fixed number of bytes the 'heavy mode' of loading will be automatically disabled leaving active only the 'light mode'. Moreover, in case of server problems, the 'heavy mode' could be temporary disabled for all the accounts. In any case you are invited in limit yourself in using this option.
UP^