I was trying to create a video for some co-workers the other day and couldn't get Maptek Vulcan to behave as I wanted. The video was just a screen capture of a new topography triangulation rotating on screen. Nothing too dramatic but it was marred by the big rotation center in the middle of the screen. From my days working for Maptek I remembered that there was a keystroke that would hide just the center of rotation icon but for the life of me I couldn't remember what it was. I bet I hit every button on my keyboard a dozen times trying to figure out which key hid that silly icon. I switched to the alternate color palette (‘a’ key), I changed the direction of the light source (‘l’ key) and I even displayed the extents of all the data on the screen (‘e’ key) but I couldn't find the right key to hide the center of rotation icon.
|Vulcan screen shot WITH center of rotation icon.|
|Vulcan screen shot WITHOUT center of rotation icon.|
To make matters worse, I couldn't find the Vulcan help page that lists all the hotkeys. Maptek is just like every other supplier of software, they think that their help is the most intuitive thing in the world and that you can find anything just by taking logical steps. I've got news for Maptek and the rest of the software developers in the world, ‘Your help stinks!' It is crazy and backward unless I already know where to find what I am looking for, and if I already know where to find my answer in the online help, chances are pretty good that I remember how to use the tool and don’t need to find it in the help in the first place.
This is a really hard thing to complain about because once you have finally found what you are looking for it seems incredibly obvious and you can’t believe you didn't look there in the first place. For future reference, the keystroke to hide the center of rotation icon is:
The complete list of hotkeys for Maptek Vulcan is located in the online help at:
Envisage 3D Editor > Keyboard Controls
|Envisage keyboard controls. Also known as 'hotkeys.'|
If you have never looked through the hotkeys in Vulcan you should really spend a minute to see what you have been missing. There are saved views that can be set up by using shift+number keys. You can change the color palette or enter a rotate mode without clicking on the screen. You might even realize that the dozens of straight lines that sometimes appear on the screen when you accidentally start typing on the keyboard with the Envisage window active are really just the extents of every object on the screen and can be turned off again by pressing the ‘e’ key.