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. Through scripts, synoptic views let you accomplish anything in Softimage — common uses include displaying custom properties, selecting elements on a character rig, setting keys on predefined lists of parameter, and so on.

This section describes how to work with synoptic views once they are set up. For information about setting up your own synoptic views, see Synoptic Views [Customizing Softimage].


The name of the synoptic view appears on the title bar.


The name of the associated scene element appears in brackets.


The pointer becomes a hand when it is over a hotspot. Click to perform a predefined action: run a script or open a different synoptic view.

Displaying Synoptic Views

If a scene element is associated with a synoptic view, you can display it using keyboard commands or from a context menu. You can have one synoptic view open per object, but you can have multiple synoptic views open associated to different objects.

To display a synoptic view with the keyboard

  1. Select an object with a Synoptic property, or a child of an object with a Synoptic property applied in branch mode.

  2. Press F3, and the synoptic view opens. Press F3 again to close the synoptic view.

    NoteF3 is used to display either synoptic views or Annotation properties. If an object has both Synoptic and Annotation properties, the synoptic view takes precedence when you press F3. If the selected object has neither a Synoptic nor an Annotation property, a pop-up explorer opens showing the selection.

To display a synoptic view from a context menu

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Alt+right-click on an object in a 3D view (Alt+Ctrl+right-click on Linux).


    • Right-click on an object in an explorer or schematic view.

  2. Choose Open Attachment from the context (pop-up) menu. The first synoptic view opens. If there are no Synoptic properties on the object, the first Annotation opens. If there are neither Synoptic nor Annotation properties, a pop-up explorer opens showing the object.

Navigating Synoptic Views

When an object has multiple synoptic views, you can navigate among them using the arrow keys.

  • If there are multiple Synoptic properties, either applied directly on the object or inherited from an ancestor, use the up and down arrow keys to cycle among them.

  • If you clicked on hotspots that open yet other synoptic views, use the left and right arrow keys to go back and forward. These keys behave similarly to the Previous and Next buttons in HTML browsers.

Make sure that the mouse pointer is over the synoptic view, or your keystrokes may be interpreted as commands in other Softimage windows.

Working with Synoptic Views

You work with synoptic views simply by clicking on the hotspots. When you click on a hotspot, one of two things can happen:

  • A second synoptic view opens, providing access to other hotspots.

  • A script runs.

Synoptic views are custom properties, so exactly what happens is determined by the person who created the synoptic view.

Sample Synoptic Views

The Biped Rig and Quadruped Rig models available from the Get Primitive Model menu have synoptic properties applied in branch on the globalSRT controller. Simply get one of these models, select any part of the rig, and press F3.

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