As written in the title, this page covers the basic functions and what they do, but only for the registered version of Metasequoia. Metasequoia LE might have similar, or even the same functions, but they aren't covered here.
Anyways, the functions will be listed here going through the upper menu first (File, Edit, Attribute, Selected, Object, View, Panel, Help), and then it will go on through the side menu (System, Edit, Command, Edit Option, View, Lighting). Without further ado, here are the functions of Basic Mode!
- New, Open, Save, Save As: Anyone who has a fair amount of experience with computers and programs should already know what these are, but either way...
- New: Opens a blank canvas/grid/modeling area. If you already have a project in the making, the program will ask you if you want to save it, if it hasn't already been saved.
- Open: Opens an already-saved file. Which leads us to the next menu option...
- Save: Saves the project. If it's the first time saving the project, you'll have to name the file, and possibly choose the file extension, leading to other save options depending on which file type you save it as.
- Save As: Saves the file as if you were saving it for the first time. See [Save]
- Insert: Integrates a previously made file into the current file.
- Rendering: Saves a picture of the current view of the project, from the Pers (Perspective) view. Gives options on the size of the picture, etc.
- Export to DOGA-L:
- Configuration: Changes the preferences, such as the color of the background, the x-y grid, the y-z grid, the x-z grid, the vertices, the color that selected vertices show up as, and much more.
- Basic Mode: If you're using Basic Mode, as you might be if you're looking at this article, then this will have a check by it. If you want the full program unlocked, and have paid for it, then you can click this to uncheck it and see all the other fancy buttons appear!
- Latest Files: Gives a drop-down list of the last couple files that have, at the very least, been opened or 'Saved As' in the program.
- Exit: Quits the program. Much like the 'X' in the upper right-hand corner.
- Undo: Undoes the last thing you did in the project. For example, if you dragged a vertex and then let go of it, and then pressed this, it would bring the vertex back to where it was before you dragged it. This can be used multiple times in a row to undo a series of actions.
- Redo: The opposite of the Undo button. It REDOES what you undid, should you have pressed the Undo button on accident.
- Select All: Selects all the vertices, faces, and lines of all the unlocked objects.
- Invert all the selection of vertices: Selects all BUT the currently selected vertices.
- Invert all the selection of faces: Selects all BUT the currently selected faces.
- Unselect all: Unselects all selected vertices, lines, and faces.
- Hide selected faces: Hides the selected faces, like it says.
- Hide unselected faces: Hides everything BUT the selected faces.
- Show hidden faces: When you hide a face, it may seem as though the face was deleted. THAT wouldn't be good, now would it? This makes them all reappear.
- The commands from this menu will apply to the highlighted
- Cut, Copy and Paste: Unless you're completely helpless when using the 'Move', 'Scale', and 'Rot (Rotate)' commands, these three aren't very useful.
- Cut: Deletes the selected faces/lines/vertices, and at the same time copies them to paste somewhere else.
- Copy: Copies the selected faces/lines/vertices to paste somewhere else. Be careful not to copy something else if you're on the Internet or reading a document, although you could always Undo and copy the section again.
- Paste: Takes the copied/cut section and places it in the same position but as a separate object.
- These functions work in a similar way to 'move faces to new object' from the selected menu.
- Delete: This function, as compared to Cut, Copy, and Paste, is one of the functions whose shortcuts I use most. The Del (Delete) button. Whatever you have selected, whether it be a single vertex or a hundred (or more!) faces, lines, and vertices, this will delete them. It might seem counter-productive, but it really does help one make their model hundreds of times more professional-looking. It should be noted that deleting a single vertices will delete the surrounding faces.
- Invert: The selected faces will be inverted / reversed.
- Set material to faces: First, what's a material? It's either the color of the faces used on the model, or a whole texture that is 'mapped' to fit the model. It colors it, without having to individually color every single face. Anyways, this takes all the faces in the object and colors them the color of the currently-selected material.
- Extrude faces: Takes a flat face and pushes it out or in to make a square or an inverted square. See the slideshow at right for a clearer explanation.
- Mirror: The selected geometry will be mirrored across one of three axis.
- Move face to a new object: The selected faces will be separated into a new object.
- Merge two triangles: Combines two triangular polygons that share a common line and turns them into a single four-sided polygon.
- Triangulate: triangulates the selected quads.
- Symmetry: Allows the movement of vert and line to be duplicated across the
- Join vertices: Welds the selected vertices, moving the combined, final vertex to the average middle space between all vertices involved.
- Align vertices: Selected vertices can be aligned along any of the three axis and at a specific place.
- Flatten: Brings a slider up to choose how 'flat' to make a polygon. This is most useful on polygons whose vertex coordinates range considerably on all axis.
- Round: This takes a polygon and 'rounds' it, meaning it splits up the polygon's vertices, making the overall shape 'rounder', despite the fact that this is most useful on anything BUT squares.
- Commands from this menu apply to the whole object.
- Create: Creates a landscape based on a random fractal or creates geometry from text.
- Freeze: Virtual mirror, lathe, blob and patched objects will be transformed into a completed mesh.
- Shift the position: The object can be moved to a precise point or centralised.
- Join closed vertices: Will weld vertices within a given proximity
- Reduce Polygons: Brings up a small window with a slider and a number box which allows you to lower the amount of polygons in an object to the number in the box. This will also triangulate the object.
- Mesh smoothing: Subdivides the mesh with a rather primitive alogarithm.
- Align Faces: Aligns all faces (normals) to the correct orientation dependant on the geometry.
- Delete overlapped faces: One of two faces stacked on will be removed.
- Unify Faces: Deletes, one, of any double sided polys. Double sided polys will be created if using the lathe function.
- Document Information: This opens up a window telling you how many faces, lines, triangles, rectangles, and a number for the patch you're currently using.
- Set View:
- Object Panel:
The objs in this panel can be thought of as containers for the vertex information
New: creates a new, blank obj
Clone: Makes a duplicate(s) of the highlighted obj with an offset option
Delete: Deletes the highlighted obj
Misc: Various, self explanatory options
Prop: Here you can change the name and wireframe colour. You can add sub division, virtual mirror and lathe. Also gives info on vert and poly count.
The small arrows < and > will allow a parent/child relationship. This is very usefull if your panel starts to overflow with objs. The parent will control the visibility (eye symbol) and lock (key symbol).
Left click and drag on highlighted to change the order or merge objs.
- Material Panel:
Similar in functionality to the object panel, this is the place to add colours or textures to your models.
Prop: Change the generic colour, type of shading and alters the optics. Alpha in Metasequoia refers only to tranparency. Diffuse is the general colour, emission gives a glow type effect, specular and power give a shiny type effect and ambient gives an an ambiance. If the colours feel dull then increase the ambient light - View/Document information.
You can load your own texture in the diffuse channel and load greyscale maps into the alpha and bump channels. Metasequoia won't display bump but it does offer the ability to paint bump maps in the paint panel (see paint panel) for export to a dedicated rendering software
- Command Panel:
- Paint Panel:
Without question, one of the best features in Metasequoia. This allows you to paint colours or textures directly onto your mesh. However, this only works succesfully if UV mapping has been done correctly. (see UV mapping)
With the paint panel open, a further 3 panels, brush, colour and palette can be opened by clicking the apropriate buttons. The brush panel contains a Pen (spray), Figure (think decal), Paint (think flood fill) and Texture (think texture). Colour panel = choose your colour, and the Palette can store shades of colour.
A bitmap must be loaded via the material panel diffuse channel so that painting may commence..
There is the ability to paint diffuse, transparency and bump maps simultaniously according to the tickable dots below 'E' in the paint panel, though I would only recomend this for advanced users. The dots below the 'V' button indicate the map showing in the panel.
- About: Shows the version you are currently using. Metasequoia 3 should be available late 2011.
- About Plug-ins:
- Homepage: Opens a tab in your default web browser to the main page of Metasequoia, which can be found here: http://www.metaseq.net/
- Registration: If you have received the codes from Mr Mizno then this is the place to put them.