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Preamble: trueSpace is a wonderful rendering environment and a confusing modeling environment, so I'll spend more time on rendering than modeling in this series. TrueSpace uses the left, the right, and both mouse buttons depressed, unlike a lot of other programs: we'll get to this a little later.
To get going, download trueSpace from Caligari's server (click on this dot) Last we looked, they were offering version 3.2 for free. If they've changed their minds, the steps to follow are compatible with trial, later versions you can download from there.
1.) Okay, the first thing you want to do is get rid of that damned menu bar at the bottom of the screen and put it on top where it belongs. Choose File>Preferences> and then choose TopMenu.
2.) The view you open to the very first time in trueSpace has two point lights in the scene, and no camera. It is not critical to fuss with the lights just yet (we'll tackle that in a future tutorial), but it is necessary to view a scene through a camera: if you don't, you will eventually switch views and never see the default view again, and this messes up the rendering of a scene. As you can see in figure 1, I've left-clicked and held on the camera and light pull-down. Release the pull-down when your cursor is over the camera, and a camera wireframe will appear in the scene.
3.) Now, let's go to a top view of the scene, so we might position the camera and the object we will soon add to the scene. Drag on the face of the Views pull-down, and then release when you see the top of a house (see figure 2) BTW, the figures also tell you which mouse button to use. Your view is now of the top of the scene, but you might not be able to see the camera, `cause you're too far zoomed in.
4.) Drag using both mouse buttons on the zoom in/out button (see figure 3) until you can see the camera. You'll notice later that there's a group of three icons that look like move, scale, and rotate scene, and these are for rotating, scaling, and moving objects, and not your view (this nicety screwed me up royally when I was learning the program).
5.) Let's add a sphere to the scene because why not? Click+drag on the objects pull-down, and then release when your cursor is over the sphere shape (see figure 4). The sphere is added to the scene. If you cannot see both it and the camera (you guessed it): use the zoom out feature again.
6.) Now, you want to move the sphere (I'm guessing) closer to the camera. In figure 4, you can see the move object icon highlighted. Click the Sphere with the pick tool to select it, then click on the Move tool, and drag the sphere closer to the camera (figure 5).
7.) Similarly, you might want to move the camera closer to the sphere (see figure 6...hey, we're playing here, we don't go for points, but instead an overall familiarity with the program).
8.) Let's looky through the camera now to see the sphere. Ooops...I forget...you might also want to move the lights closer to the sphere. But you know how to do this with the Move Object tool now, right?
9.) Drag on the face of the views pull-down until you hit the tiny icon of the camera, and then let go (figure 7). Now, you are looking through the lens of the camera, and you can come back to this view over and over again in the future. Oh, by the way, it's not documented (of course, thank you, Caligari) but Ctrl+Z will undo your last edit.
Okay, the sphere might not be framed perfectly by the camera view, and this could be due to a number of things, not in the least that it might be centered along the width axis (called the X axis), and the depth axis (how far away from the camera, also called the Z axis), but the sphere might be too high in the frame (the Y axis). To fix this, click on the sphere with the pick tool if it's not currently selected (you'll notice that stuff in wireframe highlights when it's seected), and then choose the Move object tool, and right-click to move the sphere up and down. This is an anomaly in trueSpace; camera views require the specific use of the left or the right click to move objects left and right or up and down, while other, non-camera views aren't fussy about the mouse button..
Once it's centered in frame, the sphere might be too large. To shrink it , choose the Scale Object icon (see figure 8) hold both mouse buttons. And drag downward.
10.) Here's the payoff and the end of this section. To render the sphere, that is, take the wireframe and command the program to put a "skin" on it and make the scene's info capable of being imported to Photoshop as a bitmap (Targa, TIFF, and so on), check out figure 9. You click+drag on the render pull-down and choose the render scene icon.
You are rendering to screen here and not to file. We've got a ways to go before you wind up with a 3D rendering or wireframe that's a "keeper". BUT...I do want you all to keep this lesson as Lesson 1.scn to your hard disk. Choose File>Scene >Save As, and get yourself a special folder for the stuff yet to come.