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Getting Started


7 • ARENA VISUAL DESIGNER and review the concepts in this manual, you should be able to navigate the entire example. The Arena Visual Designer application does not include 2D or 3D design tools, but it supports the import of graphic files in both animated 3D .x, .3ds and .skp file formats as well as 2D .bmp and .jpg file formats. Default 2D and 3D static images can be added to your scene by dragging the controls from the Toolbox onto the perspective or orthogonal view of the scene. Once the default image is placed in the scene, you can replace it by clicking on the default object to open the Properties toolbar. In the File Name drop-down box, you can then select any previously defined object in the model or you can browse your picture libraries or computer folders for a desired new image. Now that you have a basic understanding of the 3D scene environment and how to navigate, let’s now look at some of the components of the Scene window that are used when creating your animation. Animation Objects ANIMATING USING THE TOOLBOX The Animation Objects from the Toolbox (Entity Picture, Global Variable, Level, Queue and Resource) can be used to place objects in the 3D scene. This method places generic instances of an animated object, meaning that the associated Arena element or expression must be defined by the user. This is the only method to place a global variable in the 3D scene. Once the objects are placed in the scene and defined, they will appear in the corresponding folder (Entity Picture, Global Variable, Level, Queue and Resource) in the tree view of the Editor Explorer. To place an object, simply drag the generic icon from the Toolbox into the scene. The scene view can be set as either perspective or orthogonal. Since these are generic instances of animated objects, the properties associated with the object will need to be defined. When placing objects using the Toolbox, it is important to define those objects. For example, after placing a resource, the Name property needs to be defined with the symbol name of the resource identified in the model. After placing a global variable, the Expression property needs to be defined with the model expression that will animate the various defined triggers. 147

GETTING STARTED WITH ARENA ANIMATING USING THE EDITOR EXPLORER In the Editor Explorer, the Animation Objects folder contains four system subfolders: Entity Pictures, Global Variables, Levels, Resources, and Queues. For entity pictures, resources, and queues, all elements defined in the associated model will appear under the corresponding folder in the Editor Explorer. Each object can be placed into the scene in either perspective or orthogonal view using drag and drop from the Editor Explorer. Once an object has been placed in the scene, the object name changes color in the tree view to indicate that it has been defined in the animation. Unplaced objects remain gray until they are added to the scene. ANIMATING ENTITIES, RESOURCES, TRANSPORTERS, AND GLOBAL VARIABLES To animate entities, resources, transporters, or global variables, you must first create a style class (a generic representation of either a resource, an entity picture or a global variable) to store your object images. From the Project Explorer, right-click on Style Classes and select Insert (Object) Style Class. You can assign an image using the Thumbnails tool window (View > Tool Windows > Thumbnails) or by using Properties and pointing to a specific file. If you open the Thumbnails and browse to a folder with 3D objects, you will be able to view the image before you drag it to assign your object picture. For more advanced object animation, you can assign different images depending on the object state. When defining an Entity Style Class, by right-clicking on the image in the Editor Explorer and selecting Split to sub-states, you can choose a specific substate (in Seize Area, in Queue, in Storage, in Transfer) and assign a unique image. Arena Visual Designer supports animated meshes so that each state can be assigned a specific animation sequence for realistic entity animation. For example, you may want a person to appear as if they are walking along a route (in Transfer state). Another image may be required when they are in the queue waiting for the resource (in Queue state). You may want to change the appearance when they are then seized by the resource (in Seize state) or in a storage (in Storage state). ANIMATING A QUEUE OR LEVEL The queues you previously defined in your Arena model are automatically displayed in Visual Designer in the Editor Explorer when you browse Animation Objects > Queues. Simply drag the queue you want to animate from the Editor Explorer into the scene. You can also drag a queue from the Toolbox into the scene and then use the Properties box to define it. Use the Properties to further manipulate the queue. The default is a line queue, however, you can change it to a point queue. A point queue 148

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