The First Time You Start Softimage


The first time you open Softimage, a Netview window opens with the default page.

From here, you can link to documentation, videos, and other resources. If desired, you can turn off Launch Netview on Startup.

You can open a Netview window at any time by choosing View General Netview from the main menu.

Before using Softimage, you should set your interaction mode for keyboard and mouse preferences.

Choosing an Interaction Mode

The interaction mode controls how mouse and keystroke interaction will be interpreted in Softimage. Each interaction mode simply sets a key map for commands as well as a variety of preferences.

To set your interaction mode from Netview's default page, choose an option from the left drop-down box. If your version of Softimage is part of an Autodesk suite, you can also choose which components will use this interaction mode from the right drop-down box. These and additional modes are also available by choosing File Interaction Mode. For more information, see Changing Interaction Preferences [Data Management].

You can also change key maps and preferences individually to customize your interaction.

The documentation assumes that you are using the default Softimage interaction mode. However, no matter which interaction mode you choose, the appropriate shortcut keys are displayed in the menus dynamically.

The Recommended Choice

It is recommended that you choose the Softimage interaction mode because it is optimized for use with all Softimage tools. In particular, it makes the most efficient use of modifier keys like Shift, Ctrl, and Alt.

If you prefer to use the Alt key for camera navigation, you can set Use Alt key for view navigation in your Tools Camera preferences (File Preferences). You can also set Mouse Mapping to Maya to use the left mouse button to orbit, the middle mouse button to pan, and the right mouse button to zoom.

If You Used Other 3D Software

If you are familiar with other 3D software, you may be more comfortable with either the Maya or the 3ds Max interaction modes.

  • In Maya mode, the D key is used for many functions that use the Alt key in Softimage mode.
  • In 3ds Max mode, Alt+left-mouse-button is used for many functions that use the middle mouse button in Softimage mode.
ImportantThe interaction modes set a variety of preferences, including which parameters are keyed by default. It is strongly recommended that you do not switch between modes while working because you might not actually be keying the parameters that you think you are keying.

For more information, see Selecting Which Keying Method to Use.