How Does Pilot3D Work?


All 3D modeling programs work at least slightly differently. It can be quite irritating for those used to one modeling program to try and learn a new program. This is a quick overview of how Pilot3D works. If you read this list of notes, it can perhaps save you a lot of time and aggravation.


-      Each command (like Move Point) stays “selected” until another command is selected. The only exceptions are the zoom and pan commands – they must be re-selected each time.

-      Use the F1 key or the arrow-question mark button on the tool bar to get instructions on any command in the program. Press the F1 key when you highlight any toolbar button or menu choice. This is a standard Windows capability.

-      The currently selected command is always shown in the lower right on the status line.

-      To cancel a command, just select the same or a new command.

-      All geometry is active unless it is turned off. You do not have to select the geometry before editing or manipulating its shape.

-      Use the hide and un-hide toolbar buttons (the H with the clockwise or counter-clockwise arrows) to temporarily hide entities. This makes it easier to edit entities in areas where geometry overlaps.

-      The status line is on the bottom. Look there for step-by-step command instructions and prompts.

-      The status line also displays the dynamic 3D [X, Y, Z] position of the cursor tip.

-      A special status line box displays the current keys typed in for positioning points.

-      You can “right-click” on any entity to see its attribute dialog box.

-      If you “right-click” an edit point, a dialog box will display the [X, Y, Z] position of the point and allow you to make any changes.

-      If you make any kind of mistake, use the Undo command on the toolbar (the U with the counter-clockwise arrow).

-      If you want to pick a location where there are two edit points from two different entities, but you want only one of the two points, then you must first “hide” the entity you do not want selected. The hide button on the toolbar is the ‘H’ with the clockwise arrow. This turns off the display of this entity so that the program knows which point you want to select. Then you can turn the entity back on using the “un-hide” command (the ‘H’ with the counter-clockwise arrow). If the two edit points are “merged” or “bonded” together, then you do not have to hide anything. Both points will be found and moved together automatically.

-      To “pick” or select a polyline or curve, pick on the entity anywhere in-between two edit points. Avoid picking right on top of an edit point.

-      To “pick” or select a surface row or column, pick on a row or column away from any of the edit points, otherwise the program will not know if you are picking a row or a column.

-      While defining a new curve or polyline, use the right mouse button to terminate the input of the entity.

-      You can operate on a collection of entities by using one of the “Group” commands. Once a group is created, it stays in effect until it is emptied. If you operate on an entity that is part of the group, then the command will apply to the whole group. This applies to the “Modify” pull-down set of commands.

-      You can understand a lot about this program by studying the various types of geometric entities and the allowable operations that can be performed on these entities. See the tutorial on entities for Pilot3D.