About Synoptic Views


Synoptic views allow you to quickly access commands and data related to a specific object or model. They are custom, image-based toolbars that let you work in a natural and intuitive manner. One of their chief advantages is that they always apply to their associated scene element, whether or not it is currently selected.

Synoptic views consist of a simple HTML image map stored as a separate file outside of the Softimage scene file. The HTML file is linked to a scene element by a Synoptic property. Clicking on a hotspot in the image either opens another synoptic view or runs a script. Using scripts, synoptic views let you accomplish anything in Softimage, but common uses include displaying custom properties, setting keys on predefined lists of parameter, selecting specific elements in a complicated hierarchy, controlling character rigs, and so on.

NoteUnlike most of the other customizations described in this guide, synoptic views are saved as part of your scene data. The only way to share a synoptic view is as part of a scene or model in a project structure. You cannot package synoptic views into add-ons.

Attached to Objects

Synoptic views are attached to specific objects in your scene. This means that you can use a synoptic view to control an object even when that object is not selected.

Image Map versus Synoptic Property

A synoptic view consists of two distinct pieces:

This means that you can re-use the same image map on multiple objects in your scene. For example, you can have a single image map that you apply to control the character rigs of all models in your scene — each synoptic property affects only the object to which it is applied.

Subset of HTML

Although synoptic views use the HTML format to define image maps, only a tiny subset of HTML is supported. For this reason, it's best to use the synoptic editor to create and edit synoptic view files; if you use an external HTML editor, your synoptic view might not work in Softimage.

Sample Synoptic Views

The Biped Rig and Quadruped Rig models available from the Get Primitive Model menu have synoptic properties applied in branch on any of the control objects (such as the upper body control). You can study the associated files of these or other examples to learn more about synoptic views, or use them as a starting point for building your own.