Work Screen June 28 1992
The work screen is a quickly drawn, wire-frame schematic of the rendering
workspace. The workscreen is split into three areas: the titlebar and time
area, the display area and the icon area. For convenience while drawing,
the titlebar/time and icon areas can be hidden. See "Icons" for more
The workscreen is made of three planes (hi-res,interlaced). These planes
are semantically coded, and referred to by their colors or semantic
content. This is true even though the colors may be swapped around a bit
under user control.
The black plane is the plane of vectors.
The blue plane is the plane of notation.
The yellow plane is the plane of rendered notation.
The only other color seen (beside the background gray) is a white when the
blue and black intersect. This is useful when making new key frames.
These colors can be set to something else from the Right Pum.
All "raw mouse moves" are intially rendered in yellow while tracking. and
the last one may appear on the screen sometimes. Rescaling the View also
is done in yellow.
Mode Flg Settings
Navigating the work screen:
When you consider that I need to visualize a 5,6 or 7 dimensional
space (depending on nomenclature), each dimension of which is in
floating point, it's no surprise that certain parts of the
keyboard are dedicated to navigating the view into the workspace.
Every vertice in Vapor Space has 6 dimensions: Timestamp (S) ,
Spatial X,Y,Z,Radius (R) and Mass (M). The timestamp is the time
when the vertice was drawn. X,Y and Z are familiar to
3-dimensional beings. Radius is how "wide" the pen or brush or
wash or,in general, the influence of the pen is. The mass
corresponds to pen pressure or similar force. Note that no
surfaces are in this scheme: the vectors drawn are trying to
describe artistic gestures, and not building blocks or puppets.
On top of this, there is SMPTE time, as I call it: the position
of this vertice at a particular time, based on interpolation.
How to display all this? Let's break down the dimensions:
The SMPTE time goes in the time header. SMPTE time
is always given in HH:MM:SS:FF (hous, minutes,seconds,frames)
with 30 frames to the second. In reality, it's a floating point
number, but you can directly access only the "whole" frames.
There are actually three times in the header, and a somewhat redundant
one in the actual titlebar. The leftmost time is the accumulated
time at the "current" keyframe. The rightmost time is the time of
the next keyframe. These times change when you navigate with the
official keyframe navigator. The central time (and the titlebar
time) is the "current time", which can be adjusted in a number of
ways: you can synch it to the current Keyframe time with the
"/" Key. You can advance it by one frame with ALT-Right Arrow
and retreat it by one frame with ALT- Left Arrow. Using the
Keyframe jump Keys "," and "." this time is set to the accumulated
time at that key frame in that sequence. This also applies
Timestamp is never displayed. It is implicit in the vertex
and used extensively for re-mapping vectors. For example,
Vector redraw uses the timestamp to correlate the old to the
new vectors, and not cumulative length as would be expected.
This gives a lot of squash and organic feel to interpolations.
The X,Y,Z,R and M can be independently mapped to the screen's
X or Y axes by using some special key sequences. Thus you can
show X and Z or Y and R or M and X or any other of the 25
combinations. The X axis is assigned with ALT-F1 through Alt-F5
to map it to X Y Z R and M respectively and the Y axis uses
ALT-F6 through ALT-F9. Why allow the same axis twice (x by x)?
It's handier than you think, because rempping will affect only one
axis - for example just the radius (it will have the value of the
y axis from the raw mouse moves).
Now you'll want to move around in the X and Y you have chosen.
Here's where the Keypad comes in. Up, down, left and right are on
8,2,4 and 6 respectively. 5 will put you in a "home position" and
hitting it again will return you to the previous view. 1 zooms
out while 3 zooms in. And, important for animators, 7 rotates the
screen left (5 degrees) and 9 rotates it right. All of these
"linear transformations" can be modified with the shift and alt
keys: Shift makes for bigger movement (and 45 degrees in
rotation)and alt for daintier movement (and 1 degree in rotation).
So you don't have to reach, the 0 key acts like a shift and the
minus key like an Alt.(A1000 users see why this makes sense.) The
period key moves the center of the screen to where the mouse is
now. Shift-period tries to center and scale the screen so the
current vector is centered. Shift-5 flips the x axis (not too
well), and Enter is part of the sketching system.
The best part is that the workscreen redraw process is
completely interruptable! That is, you can just bang away on the
keypad and the screen will clear and redraw instantly. This
redraw is something it does when it has nothing better to do, so
don't feel bad about interrupting it.
You can get an idea of the effect of these keys by looking at the
behavior of the "mark" which is a 2x2x2x2x2 hypercube centered
at (0,0,0,0,0). Note how the axes are labeled in tiny letters
which change if you change the X and Y meanings. When you zoom in,
you can see a couple of blue points at the origin. They are at
± 1/100 from the origin in all dimensions. Zoom out and you'll see
similar marks for ± 100. I'd like to point out the arbtrary limit
I've put on zooming: since floating point has 24 bits of accuracy,
and a screen needs about eight bits to describe its dimensions across
or down, that leaves about 16 bits of "zooomability". I add a few more
and make it 19, or ± 8 bits . Usually, I don't go more than ± 6.
The mark can be hidden by using the workspace view Mark toggle: the
real 1 key. More about this stuff in the view options area.
Since Radius and to a lesser extent Mass is important to visualize
while looking at the "real" dimensions, they can also be displayed,
in the yellow plane, with some Workspace display option keys.
Real number 8 turns on the display of the radius, which is shown
as yellow lines parallel to the main vector at the radius'
radius. Number 9 enables the display of the Mass as spines frome
the vector display. Another option: shift-4, makes the radius lines
into triangles which show the direction of the vector.
If the current object is a vector or note vector, it is highlighed on
the screen by drawing a bounding box around it. The beginning
of the line has a fancy square on its endpoint and the end has an
octogon that in poor light looks like a circle. Actually, they
are stylized arrow heads and tails, arranged in a circle. The bound
box can be disabled with numeric-5 in case you are disracted by it
when drawing, and you can use the "sprite" instead (Alt-Enter).
If a vector is in a selected state, each endpoint gets a tinier
version of the "endpoint markers" in yellow.
The work screen has many options to customize it so that it
can show or hide the information needed to do the animation.
Most of the option states are shown in a very confusing display in the
titlebar. The option toggles are mostly clustered on the "real"
number keys and shifted versions of them. Here is a quick rundown:
1 - Show/Hide the "mark"
2 - Show/Hide the last raw mouse move
3 - Show/Hide the Note vectors (Nv's)
4 - Show/Hide all vectors (but not radius or mass)
5 - Show/Hide Bound Box of current vector
6 - Show/Hide titlebar/time info
7 - Show/Hide View
8 - Show/Hide Radii
9 - Show/Hide Mass
0 - Enable/Disable workscreen vector interpolation.
This shows all the vectors and views in all sequences
as they would be at the current time. This information is rendered
in the "black plane", but cannot be selected.
Shift-1 - enables Edit-auto advance feature (not related to workspace)
Shift-2 - "blue out" non-current keyframes. The general convention
is that the blue vectors cannot be selected from the screen
(with the right mouse button), but the black one can be.
if vector interpolation is on, the base frame is selectable,
even though it's in blue , and the interpolated frame is in
black, even though it's not selectable.
Shift-3 - Hides vectors which had been blued out by "shift-2".
Shift-4 - toggles the "alternate" form of radius display.
Also these neato features:
Del - expands or contracts the screen drawing area. Titlebar may
be displayed depending on actions taken.
Shift Del - toggles titlebar to reveal generation date and the all
important depth gadgets and drag bar.
backslash (\) flips the colors black and yellow.
Shift-\ toggles the intesection color of vector(black) and
notation (blue) from white to black.
Alt-\ hides all non-yellow vectors and turns yellow to black.
This is mostly for the benefit of the workscreen animation
The explanation of the "confusing mode display in the titlebar"
Actually, I've made it a little less confusing: now each character
corresponds to the sequence of flags that are flipped with the
number keys. If these toggles are off, there's a period instead.
(unshifted number keys)
'+' Hide the Mark
'R' Hide the last RawMouse trail
'N' Hide Note Vectors
'V' Hide Vector rendering
'B' Hide Eye Bound Boxes
'M' Hide Mode display (when on, you dont see any of these flags!)
'V' Hide View
'R' Show Radius
'M' Show Mass
'I' create in-betweens when current time is not on a key frame's time
(shifted number keys)
'A' Advance Eye after each Redraw Vector operation.
'B' Blue non-current time vectors
'H' Hide non-current time vectors (if already Blued)
'>' use fish bone like radii (helps show vector direction)
'V' generate in-between frames from View's viewpoint
'G' use Grid setting
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