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Phases Window

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Standard Document | Lights & Textures | Object Info | Phases | Views | Walkthrough

"Phases" is the term used in DesignWorkshop for 3D "layers". Associated elements are placed in different phases for clarity and ease of work.

The Phases windoid controls the current phase and which phases are currently editable or visible. Open the Phases windoid by using the Layout menu Show Phases... command. When the Phases window is showing, click on its various controls to adjust the phases setting for your document. These changes will not go into effect until you click on the Apply button. It is important to be careful about this little attention to the Apply button can prevent a lot of confusion.

Only one phase can be "current". The current phase is the phase into which newly drawn objects are placed, and Paste operations also always put their results into the current phase. Selecting objects and many other operations are not limited to the current phase, however. Objects in any editable phase may be selected, copied, cut, deleted, moved, reshaped, etc., and objects normally stay in their home phase unless you move them via the clipboard with cut and paste. (One exception is the Group command--see below.)

Phases can be locked (shown in the phases "site", "massing", and "substructure" in the illustration above), so objects are displayed but not selectable or editable, and phases can be made invisible (shown in the phases "basic site" and "trees" in the illustration). Objects in invisible phases are not editable.

To move objects from one phase to another, make the destination phase current, then select and cut the objects from their original phase, and paste them into the current phase. Individual objects can also be quickly shifted from one phase to another using the Phase pop-up menu in the Object Info windoid.

When objects are grouped, they must all be together in one phase. For this reason, if you attempt to group objects that are spread across more than one phase, a warning will appear. To complete the operation, you will have a choice of canceling the grouping operation or having all the objects be moved to the current phase.

To change the name of a phase, double-click on the name, and then click in the name field to edit the text. Type return when the edit is complete, and always click Apply when you're done changing Phases. Changes are automatically saved whenever the model file is saved. A generic new DesignWorkshop models comes with a default set of already-named phases. If you would like your new documents to open with a customized set of phases, simply edit the phase names in an empty model file, save it with Save As, and then use the Get Info window in the System 7 Finder to designate the file as a Stationary Pad.

Note: The term "layers" is avoided in DesignWorkshop because the analogy to overlay drafting, which makes "layers" vivid when used in drafting software, is not relevant in a 3D modeling environment. For some people, the term "layers" implies some spatial connection which doesn't necessarily exist, therefore causing unnecessary confusion.

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