What makes modeling with Wing 3D so efficient and the interface so un-cluttered is the use of context sensitive pop-up menus which are accessed by clicking RMB in the Geometry window. Depending on the current selection mode, a different menu will pop up presenting you with operations that are applicable only to the type of item (vertex, edge, face or object) selected.
There are five Command menus available in the Geometry window, depending on the current selection mode:
- Primitives Menu – available when no items are currently selected. (The Space bar Hotkey will de-select all items).
- Vertex Menu – when one or more Vertices are selected.
- Edge Menu – when one or more Edges are selected.
- Face Menu – when one or more Faces are selected.
- Object Menu – when one or more Objects are selected.
When you switch between selection modes, notice that the Command menu, the details in the Status Bar, mouse options in the Information Line, and the currently selected/highlighted element(s) are all updated to be relevant to the current context.
Status Bar Updates
Keep an eye on the Status Bar in the upper left corner of the Geometry window for detailed information on the items you have selected. When you see a changing D (Distance) or % (Percentage) value, you can hit the Tab key and enter specific numeric values, to enable finer control than simply by mouse dragging alone.
Holding down certain modifier keys while dragging the mouse adds distance or percentage constraints depending on the active command. Assuming constraints are at default settings in Preferences (see [Edit | Preferences | Constraints]), then these are:
- Shift+mouse = 1 or 100%,
- Ctrl+mouse = 0.1 or 10%,
- Shift+Ctrl+mouse = 0.01 or 1%.
Menu Toolbar Header
At the top of each Command menu there is a toolbar showing a row of icons. These are shortcuts to the Undo/Redo and Repeat commands, selection modes, and the often used Select and Tools Menus.
The major benefit of this menu bar is that the selection mode can be changed without closing the Command menu, so enabling faster switching to different modes with only the related items selected.
This menu bar can be toggled on/off using Preferences; see [Edit | Preferences | User Interface | Interface Icons | Menu Toolbar | Show Menu Toolbar].
For some commands, a dialog will open to chose an axis or reference point. The axis can be Free (any direction), or constrained to a Standard Axis (X, Y, Z), or relative to a Plane or Normal defined by a chosen item (vertex, edge, face) of an object. The default axis can be defined in [Tools | Set Default Axis]. A normal is a vector (line of direction) that runs out perpendicular to the reference element.
Within the various Command menus you will notice a command called [Absolute Commands], which will allow you to enter specific numeric values. These options along with the use of Bounding Boxes will help you to build a 3D model to scale.
The layout and behavior of the Command menus are similar to the Main menus, with Hotkeys and Dialog boxes.
Unlike the Main menu commands, Command menu commands that invoke submenus are shown with dots, e.g. “.Move.”
If the height of the Geometry window is not sufficient then Wings 3D automatically clips (or splits) the menu. The “More…” option brings up a submenu containing the remaining commands. (So, it’s usually a good idea to keep the Geometry window suitably sized!)
You can configure the length of the menu at which the ‘More…’ option is inserted in Preferences, see [Edit| Preferences | Misc | Maximum menu height in pixels].
Exit from Menus
Press Esc to exit from any Command menu, and return to the Geometry window. Also, Space bar will change the context menu to the Primitives menu – i.e. the mode is deselected.