Menu Tools


The Tools menu contains functions that will interact with other Wings 3D commands.
One of the useful concepts is the Bounding Box (BB) which is a rectangular cuboid space, whose faces and edges align with the standard axes, and whose center point is the intersection of the internal diagonals. A BB may be temporary – based on the current selection – or saved for use in later moving or scaling operations.

Tools | Align

Aligns all selected objects based on the center of the aggregate BB of the selection. The center of each object is aligned along one, two or all standard axes. For example, if the Z axis is chosen then the selected objects will be aligned along the same Z axis.
The command works on objects which are moved without rotation or scaling. Although the selection mode may be face, edge or vertex when the command is invoked, it converts to the objects involved, and does not align vertices, edges or faces to an axis on the same model.
This can be useful to line objects up once they have moved off center. For example, by using a series of Aligns, you could get wheels on a model, that have become misaligned, back into proper positions relative to each other.

Tools | Center

Centers objects in the workspace based on the BB of all selected items.
If you work on a large model that has sort of “grown” off in one direction, you can quickly center it in the workspace again. Also, if you have multiple objects in a complex model, and you’ve lost track of one of them, you can select it (via the Objects Menu) and then Center to find it again.

Tools | Bounding Box

The Bounding Box submenu is a set of tools for saving and editing a BB, which is later used for scaling and aligning objects to a set of saved dimensions or coordinates.
The saved BB is displayed as a rectangular cuboid space, whose edges are shown as dashed lines. See [View | Show | Show Saved BB] which toggles the display of the saved BB in the Geometry window.

  • Save Bounding Box – Creates a BB using the outermost X, Y and Z coordinates of the current selection mode. If nothing is selected, then the command effectively clears (zeros) the current saved BB.
    Normally a BB occupies a cuboid space, but the command works even if the selection is a single vertex, edge or face; this gives a single reference point, edge or surface which may be useful for the alignment of objects. (NB: You could scale an object to a single BB point – but that may not be such a good idea!!)
  • Scale to Saved BB – Scales the selected object(s) along one, two or three axes of the saved BB. The amount to scale could be different along each chosen axis, meaning that this command can distort the proportions of the objects (i.e. a cube might no longer remain a cube). The scale factor for each axis is computed by comparing the saved BB with the BB for the selection. To avoid distorting the objects, use [Scale to Saved BB Proportionally].
  • Scale to Saved BB Proportionally – Similar to [Scale to Saved BB], but the proportions of the selected objects are preserved, i.e. all chosen axes will be scaled by the same amount.
  • Move to Saved BB – Moves the selected object(s) based on the center of the aggregate bounding box along one or more of the X, Y, Z axes defined by the center of the saved BB.  Using All axes will move the center of the selection to align with the center of the saved BB.
    The selection can be one or more objects, faces, edges or vertices, but all the objects involved in the selection are moved without scaling or rotation. Useful, for example, to align multiple objects, or align objects to touch at a single vertex, edge or face.
  • Move BB to Selection – Moves the center of the saved BB. That is, adjusts one or all of the X, Y, Z coordinates of the center of the saved BB based on the center of the BB of the current selection.
    This does not change the size of the saved BB.
  • Scale BB to Selection – Adjusts the size of the saved BB. That is, adjusts the lengths of one or more of the sides of the saved BB based on the BB of the current selection.
  • Bounding Box…  – Opens the Create Bounding Box dialog to set the BB Dimensions and BB center coordinates numerically. The lengths of the X, Y, and Z edges determine the extent of the BB and the coordinates of the center point determines its location.
    If a Bounding Box already exists then the current dimensions and center coordinates are shown – useful as a check on current values – and can be edited.
    This command dialog is also available from the Primitives Menu.

Tools | Set Default Axis

Sets the default axis and/or reference point for later use with any command that has a “default axis” option.

Tools | Virtual Mirror

The Virtual Mirror tool puts you into a special modeling mode for creating perfectly symmetrical objects. To use it, select a single face on an object to mirror around and then select Virtual Mirror. The object will be mirrored from the selected face so that as you make changes on either side of the object these will be reflected on the other side of the object. This has the potential for cutting your modeling time in half and can be used to do some things that are otherwise sometimes difficult to achieve, such as rotating two surfaces in opposite directions.

  • Create ­ – Creates the virtual half of the object from the selected face which mirrors the real half. Note that you can work with either the virtual or real half and actions will be reflected on the counterpart.
  • Break ­ – Destroys the virtual mirror so that only the real half of the object remains, including any changes that have been made.
  • Freeze ­ – Makes the virtual half of the object into real geometry, thus creating a perfectly symmetrical object.

You can create Virtual Mirrors on multiple objects by selecting a face on each object. The mirrors work independently on each object. To end the Virtual Mirrors for one of more objects, select the mirrored object(s) and either Break or Freeze.
Note that if you want your object to stay centered in the workspace it is best to loop cut the object down the middle, delete one half of the object, select the resulting face, and then start Virtual Mirror.

Tools | Screenshot

Grabs an image of the current workspace, including all visible windows, menus, etc. The image is listed in Outliner with the default name “Screenshot”, overwriting any previous default image.  Opening the Screenshot command dialog box gives the following options:

  • Capture viewport only – Set the default to limit the screenshot to the view and dimensions of the main Geometry window.
    Note: Ensure the Geometry window is not obscured by other windows. Also, the Status Bar area will be included, so you may want to unset [View | Show | Show Info Text] in the main Geometry window.
  • Add current view to Saved Views – You can save the current view position to Saved Views at the same time and with the same name as the screenshot so that they can be aligned later.
  • Name – Stores the image with the name which is listed in Outliner (and Saved Views if required). If the name already exists then it is overwritten with the new image.

Tools | Scene Info: Area & Volume

Opens Scene Info dialog box which lists each object in the scene with its Area and Volume (in wings units).

Tools | Put on Ground

All selected objects are moved along the Y axis until their base aligns with the Ground plane.

Tools | Unitize

Scale all selected objects to fit inside a (wings) unit sphere and move to the origin.

Tools | Tweak

The command opens the [Tools ¦ Tweak] menu. Tweak is a special modeling mode that allows you to drag vertices freely with fine movement control, and useful in organic modelling. For more details of this tool-set see: Tweak.

Tools | Sculpt

Opens the [Tools ¦ Sculpt] mode.

Tools | Ambient Occlusion

Add Ambient-Occlusion vertex colors via OpenGL.
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Tools | Connect

Mode for quickly connecting a vertex and an edge. Select a vertex and select an edge; a new vertex is created on the edge, and a new edge connects the two vertices. Continue creating new connections until RMB stops the process.

Tools | Magnet Mask

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Opens the [Tools ¦ Magnet Mask] submenu.

Tools | Snap Image

Start Snap mode for “snapping” UV coordinates onto an image.
Opens [Tools ¦ Snap Image]] mode.

Quick Tip: Bounding Boxes

Don’t overlook the usefulness of bounding boxes. You can use them to place an object at any given location, such as putting a hat on a hat rack. To do so select a vertex on the hook of the hat rack and do a Save Bounding Box. Then select a vertex on the inside of the hat and do a Move To Saved BB. The hat will snap right into place.

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