The File menu

The File menu contains a number of commands to save and open disk files. Since there does not seem to be any document associated with 3D-XplorMath, this may seem surprising at first. What is there to save?

One answer is "the complete state of the program at a given moment". For example, if you have worked hard entering some complicated expressions to define a User object, then found an interesting set of parameters for it and a good ViewPoint from which to observe it, and a good way to Morph it, or a good axis about which to rotate it, choosing Save Settings... from the File menu will create a disk file on which all that information (and much, much more) is recorded. Then, at any later time, you can choose Open Settings... from the File menu to open that file and restore the program to exactly the same state as when you did the Save... command. You can also give the file to friends who have 3D-XplorMath for them to see your creation. The file is very small---only a couple of kilobytes, so you can easily send them as an email attachment.This kind of file is called a Settings file, and is usually kept in the Settings Folder, in the same Folder with 3D-XplorMath.

The program is also able to open a second kind of file, called a Grand Tour file, and kept in a Grand Tour folder. These are created at the end of a Grand Tour and are opened from the Grand Tour menu. A Grand Tour file is also an ASCII file, and consists of a Settings file with the itinerary of the Grand Tour appended.

At any time you can save the contents of the Graphics Window to a disk file by choosing Save Window as... from the File menu.

After you create an animation filmstrip, you can save it to the disk as a QuickTime movie by choosing Save Animation as Movie... from the File menu. One reason to do this is that a QuickTime movie starts up almost instantaneously, while it can take several minutes to recreate a complex animation. Another reason is that it is easy (say with Movie Player) to convert a QuickTime movie into a format that can be played back on UNIX machines and Windows machines.

There is also an item Open Movie... in the file menu that provides a primitive movie player. This is not meant as a replacement for a full-fledged movie player, but rather to give the user a convenient way to preview movies created from animations as above.

Tthe file menu has items Save Surface Data... and Read Surface Data.... These create and read so-called Surface Data files, a native file format understood by 3D-XplorMath. In addition, as of version 10.4 there are also items Save Surface as POVRay .inc File, and Save Surface as .obj File that allows a user to export a surface created in 3D-XplorMath to the raytracing program POVRay and various 3D modelling programs (in particular Bryce). I would like to thank Paul Bourke and Luc Benard for their help in implementing these export routines.



Documentation Table Of Contents.
Documentation Index.