Scripted Simulation Window


Figure 1. Scripted simulation camera path shown in red.

The scripted simulation window can be added by adding a data tool and selecting its entry in the dialog. Once added this tool opens a new simulation window. As with the other simulation windows, you can pick what items that you are tracking with the camera. However, you also have several new controls that you do not have with a standard window. If you select the properties for the window then it has properties for the structure, part and default position. This allows you to specify what you want the window to be looking at, and where you want the camera positioned, by default when the simulation starts. Each time the simulation begins the window will be moved to that position and it will be looking at the specified structure/part.

You can also add camera paths to the window using the toolbar. This will add a new camera path that can be seen underneath the window in the workspace view. You can then set the structure/part that this path will be looking at, and you can set the start time of when you want this path to be played out. You cannot set the end time directly. That is controlled by the waypoints that you add.

Once you have a path you can then add waypoints to it. Position your camera where you want the first waypoint to be located, then click the add waypoint button . This will add a new waypoint under the currently selected path. It will default the position of the waypoint to be the current position of the camera. You can then move the camera to the next point where you want the camera to move to, and hit the add waypoint button again. Continue doing this until you have defined the entire path you want the camera to follow. Each waypoint it adds is numbered starting with 001. You can rearrange the order of the waypoints by changing their names. So if you want a waypoint between what is currently 002 and 003, then add a new waypoint (004 say), and then rename them so that 004 => 003 and 003 => 004. This will change the positions of the waypoints that are followed. If you need to adjust the position of any of the waypoints you can also do this manually using the position property of that waypoint.

Once you have the waypoint path, you next need to specify the times or speeds for each waypoint. If you want the camera to reach a waypoint at a specific time, then you can set the Timespan properties. This allows you to indirectly set the start/end times for the waypoints. It specifies how long it will take for the camera to move along the path from this point to the next point. However, a more useful setting is the velocity control. It allows you to specify the velocity at which you want the camera to move. Typically, you will want your camera to move a constant velocity over the entire path. This allows you to control this easily without having to calculate the required time spans for each differently sized segment.

Once you have your waypoints defined and you have set the path to look at a specific object and part, then just hit play. The camera will now fly along the path you have laid out. If you do not want to see the path in the simulation then you can control that on the path properties by setting the "Visible in sim" property to false. You can also turn its visibility off completely there as well, and you can select the color that is used for the path. You can add as many paths as you want, but no two paths can overlap in time because there is only a single camera.