Boxshot User Interface Layout
When you start Boxshot the first time you will see the default main window (you may also see the demo-version notification, but this tutorial is not about the demo). You will probably see something like this:
Boxshot looks and works absolutely the same way on Windows and Mac, so all the information you get here works for both platforms. You can click screenshots to see full-size versions.
The toolbar is at the top of the window and has three parts. The left part controls panels on the left, the right part controls panels on the right and the middle part controls the mouse cursor mode and provides some shortcuts.
By clicking the left and right icons you switch the panels on the left and right sides of the window. If you click the active icon, you toggle the panel on or off. The right panel may hide automatically when nothing is selected. It will appear again when you select something. However, if you hide the panel first, it will not reappear automatically.
The left set of icons is permanent. You may see fewer icons depending on your Boxshot edition, but they never change while you work in Boxshot. The right icons depend on the current selection and may change if you select, for instance, a light object instead of a shape.
Panels on the Left
From left to right, the icons at the left part of the toolbar give you access to these panels:
- Scene tree - displays the node tree for the current scene. Basically, you can see all the shapes from your scene in the tree. If something is missing or hidden, this is the first place to look. You can rearrange items there, group them and do other things. In most cases with simple scenes you will not need this panel.
- Shapes - this displays the most important panel on the left. The panel contains a list of the shapes which you may drag into the scene. There is a filter at the top, so you can type some letters to display a smaller range of shapes.
- Materials - this panel contains a list of predefined materials and images that you can use in your scenes. There are some useful background and gradient textures, checkerboards textures and some cool materials. The filter at the top allows you to find what you need faster.
- Snapshots - this panel allows you to make a "shot" of the current scene and keep the camera settings for future use. For example, you may make a set of nice views of your scene for further rendering or to show to your customer.
- Scene properties - this panel contains various scene-wide properties like ambient lighting settings, background image parameters, floor visibility and environment image settings. You usually go here to adjust lighting settings.
- Camera - this panel, where you can adjust camera parameters, is described in detail in a separate tutorial.
Panels on the Right
Buttons in the right part of the toolbar are visible only when something is selected. The number of buttons depends on the type of the selected object. For shapes you will see three buttons; for objects like materials or groups you will see fewer buttons, as not all the properties are relevant to them. From left to right, the icons at the right part of the toolbar on the screenshot give you access to these panels:
- Parameters - this panel displays the settings of the currently selected object. This is the panel you will be using most of the time in Boxshot, as it displays parameters like width and height.
- Materials - this is also a very popular panel, which holds the list of materials you have applied to the currently selected object.
- Transformation - this panel allows you to precisely move, rotate and scale the currently selected object. You can generally perform all these operations with your mouse, so you rarely need to work directly in this panel.
Buttons in the Middle
The middle part of the toolbar has two parts. The left side controls the mouse cursor mode, while the right side lets you quickly render the current scene. Here is what the buttons do:
Note that there is no book in the scene anymore, nothing is selected and the right part of the toolbar is empty. You see buttons on the right side only when something is selected in the scene.
The labels of the buttons describe their functions. Read more about these functions in these tutorials:
You have learned about the Boxshot toolbar, its left and right panels and what is available there. You also learned what the middle buttons mean in the toolbar and where to look for more details about them. Now please continue to the following topics:
- Adding Shapes - learn how to add shapes to the scene.
- Moving Shapes - move and rotate your shapes.
- Editing Shapes - almost all shapes have parameters. Here's where they are and how to edit them.
- Assigning and Editing Materials - all shapes have materials. Learn how to assign and control their materials.
- Using Camera - understand and take advantage of the basic camera parameters.
- Rendering Scenes - learn here how to render your completed scene.