Scene Editing Mode

Learn the basics of the Medium Scene Editing Mode.

As you continue sculpting, you may want to add new scene nodes such as more layers, or lights. You can manage the contents of your scene and perform various actions using a set of menus that you’ll become familiar with:

Note:

The Scene Editing Mode consists of a trio of menus: The Add Node Menu, the Action Menu (Selected Node Menu) and the Scene Graph. For information about the Scene Graph, see the Scene Graph section.

Scene Editing Mode

To open (or close) the set of menus, pull the Support hand thumbstick backward.

Scene Graph, Add Menu, and Action Menu.

Add Node Menu

The Add menu lets you add new nodes to your scene, including:

  • Layer: add more layers to hold discrete areas of your sculpt.
  • Reference Mesh: import a 3D mesh into your scene.
  • Reference Image: position one or more reference images.
  • Light: add either spot or point lights.
  • Transform: add arbitrary transforms as needed to support the structure of your sculpt.

The Add menu appears directly over your Support hand.

Adding Layers

As your sculpts get more complex, you may want to create different layers to hold different parts of the sculpt. For more information on adding layers, and layers in general, see Working with Layers.

Adding Polygonal Meshes

You can import meshes from other 3D packages into Medium to use in your sculpt or as reference. A mesh appears as a transparent, triangulated model that can be used as a 3D guide when sculpting.

You can import meshes in either of the following file formats: .obj, .fbx

Meshes from both formats can be brought into Medium with vertex color and texture information. Each format has slightly different requirements:

  • OBJ: Medium uses a non-standard extension to the OBJ file format to support vertex colors inside the OBJ file. For textures, we require an .obj file, accompanying material (.mtl) file, and all image files. We support one diffuse texture per subset. All files should be included in the Medium Import folder.
  • FBX: Medium’s FBX importer supports one diffuse texture per mesh node inside the .fbx file. Each image file, including the .fbx file itself, should be included in the Medium import folder. Normal maps, multiple blended textures, and other special usage of textures are not supported and are not brought into Medium. If you are having issues with import, make sure that you have included all textures files with correct pathing in of the import folder, and make sure that each mesh node contains only one diffuse texture.

Recommendations for Meshes

In general, we recommend that meshes you plan to import have vertex normals and are watertight:

  • Watertightness isn’t required for the mesh in general, it is recommended for meshes with which you plan to use the Copy to Clay feature (see below). Non-watertight meshes may fail to copy or show errors in the final sculpt. While minor errors in the geometry may not cause problems with Copy to Clay, it's best for the mesh to be watertight.
  • It is not necessary to triangulate meshes, as they are automatically triangulated upon import.
  • Vertex normals are not strictly required either; however, meshes imported without normals show up unlit inside Medium, giving them a uniformly flat gray appearance.

Importing and Positioning a Mesh

To import a mesh:

  1. Pull the Support hand thumbstick backward to open the file selector and navigate to the directory containing the mesh you would like to import, see Image 1.

  2. Aim at the mesh you want to import with the Tool hand and squeeze the Tool hand trigger to select it, see Image 2.

    Image 2: Aim at the mesh you want to import.

    Image 1: Navigate to the directory containing the mesh.

  3. Select the Add button, see Image 3.

  4. The mesh appears in both your scene and in the Scene Graph, see Image 4.

    Image 4: The mesh appears in the scene and Scene Graph.

    Image 3: Select the Add button.

  5. Squeeze the Support hand trigger to grab and position the mesh in your scene.

  6. Select the mesh in the Scene Graph to see additional options on the Actions menu:

Note:

To import several meshes at once, squeeze and hold the Support hand trigger, then select all of the meshes you want to import in the asset browser. Medium draws a thin blue box around each item as it is selected.

  • Wireframe: Displays the mesh in wireframe mode.
  • Copy to Clay: Converts the mesh into the most active layer of clay (and takes on that layer’s resolution). With Medium’s Copy to Clay feature, you can also convert meshes into sculptable material, preserving color information from your original mesh.
Wireframe

Copy to Clay

  • Parenting a Mesh Under Your Sculpt: In earlier versions of Medium, a “Move with Sculpt” option could be set for a mesh; to make the mesh move with your sculpt, you can now simply reparent it in the Scene Graph. Drag the mesh under the Sculpt node to have the mesh move in unison with your sculpt.

Add Images

You can import images into Medium and place them within your scene to use as reference in your sculpting. You can import images in any of the following file formats:

  • .png
  • .jpg
  • .jpeg
  • .jpe
  • .tga
  • .bmp
  • .gif

To import an image:

  1. Pull the Support hand thumbstick backward to open the file selector and navigate to the directory containing the image you would like to import, see Image 1.

  2. Aim at the image you want to import with the Tool hand and squeeze the Tool hand trigger to select it, see Image 2.

    Image 2: Aim at the image you want to import.

    Image 1: Navigate to the directory containing the image.

  3. Select the Add button in the lower right corner of the panel, see Image 3:

  4. Selected images appear in both your scene and in the Scene Graph, see Image 4.

    Image 4: Selected images appear in the scene and Scene Graph.

    Image 3: Select the Add button.

  5. Squeeze the Support hand grip button and position the image in your scene.

  6. Select the image in the Scene Graph to see additional options on the Action menu.

Once the images are loaded, you can move and resize it:

  1. Pull your Support hand thumbstick backward, then select the image with your Tool hand trigger, either from the Scene Graph or selecting it directly in the scene.

  2. Move and rotate it using the controller.

Add Lights

Medium uses three types of lights:

  • Ambient light (Sun): a default ambient light is included in your scene by default. The ambient light has no point of origin and is applied universally to the scene. You cannot add an ambient light, but you can modify the Sun’s characteristics by choosing the World node in the Scene Graph, then selecting the Settings icon from the Action menu.
  • Spot lights: spot lights have a specific position and cast light in a specific direction. The angle of the cone associated with the light can be adjusted.
  • Point lights: point lights have a specific position and cast light in all direction.
Note:
  • A maximum of eight lights can be added to your scene.
  • You can add any combination of spot lights and point lights.
  • Only one light is able to cast shadows, and it must be a spot light. To select which spot light casts shadows, select it (either in the Scene Graph or directly in the scene) and enable shadows on the Action menu.

To add a new light to your scene:

  1. Pull the Support hand thumbstick backward.

  2. Select the Light icon, select Settings, and choose the type of light you want to create.

    Select Light Icon.

    Light Settings.

  3. Select whether this should be the shadow casting light.

The light appears in your scene, and is selected by default. Squeeze and hold the Tool hand grip button to position and aim the light.

Add Transforms

A transform is a node within the hierarchy of your scene that is a parent to all the elements underneath it. If you’re not familiar with them, it may be easiest to think of the transform as a ‘handle’ of sorts; that handle is attached to all its child elements. You can select that transform and move, scale, or rotate it; when you do, all elements under that transform are affected by the operation and are moved, scaled, and/or rotated as a group. If you’re using Medium as part of a production pipeline, you may have specific requirements about where transforms are included in your model.

To add a transform to your scene:

  1. Pull the Support hand thumbstick backward.

  2. Select the Transform icon. The transform appears as the last element in the Scene Graph, see Image 1.

  3. Squeeze and hold the Tool hand grip button to manipulate the transform directly in the scene, see Image 2.

    Layers with transform node added.

    Select the transform icon.

  4. Move the transform anywhere in the hierarchy. For example, you may want to group related objects under the transform so they can be manipulated in unison.

     

    You can then select the transform node in the Scene Graph and manipulate it just as you would any other element. For more on using transforms, see Transforming Elements in Medium.

    Reposition the layer using the transform node.

Action Menu (Selected Node Menu)

The Action menu opens only after you select an element in the Scene Graph or from the scene. The options available on the Action menu change depending on the type and number of elements you have selected. However, the general actions that you can perform include:

 

  • Settings: open the Settings menu for the selected element, defining how it works (as for the Mirror plane) or its attributes (as for a spot light).
  • Transform: open the Transform menu for the selected nodes.
  • Duplicate: make a copy of the element or elements.
  • Delete: remove the element or elements from the scene.
  • Element-Specific Actions: the lower portion of the panel displays additional options that may be available for the selected element (such as enabling/disabling).

Below the icons are node-specific actions that can be performed on whatever is currently selected (either via the Scene Graph or directly in the scene).

The Action Panel.

With a single layer selected, you can:

  • Flip
  • Create a stamp
  • Center it within its bounding box
  • Increase its resolution
  • Decrease its resolution

Some of the layer operations are not available. If you select two layers in the Scene Graph, you see several additional actions that can be performed using two layers:

  • Merge the two layers.
  • Create a shape based on their intersection.
  • Subtract the volume of one layer from another.
Node Manipulation menu.

 

This behavior is consistent whenever you select multiple nodes in the Scene Graph.

The Actions menu dynamically updates to show only those actions which can be performed on the set of nodes. If you select two different types of nodes (say, the lathe and a light) then fewer available actions appear on the menu.
In this case, the only operation that is appropriate for the collected elements is to enable them. Using that control enables/disables all the selected nodes.

Node Settings

Node Settings.

Select the gear icon to open the Settings menu for the selected node or nodes:

  • If you have only one node selected in the Scene Graph, the appropriate menu opens.
  • If you have more than one node selected, the menu for the node you selected first opens.

Depending on the type of elements you have selected in the Scene Graph, one of the following menu types opens:

Element Type

Menu

Affects

World node

Scene Settings

Overall scene appearance.

Sculpt

N/A

N/A

Layer

Materials

Surface attributes for the first selected layer.

Light

Light Attributes

Attributes for the selected light.

Transform

Transform Settings

Position and the orientation of the Lathe.

Mirror Plane

Mirror Settings

Position and orientation of the Mirror Plane.

Grid

Grid Settings

Position and orientation of Sculpt origin, and grid visualization and snapping customizations.

Transform Selected

Transform Menu.

Select the hand icon to open the Transform menu. Transforms are applied to all selected nodes, so you can use this, for example, to scale or rotate some layers of your sculpt without affecting others.

Show/Hide Selected

Show/hide icon.

Select the visibility icon to toggle the visibility of the selected nodes (either nodes on the Scene Graph or selected directly in the scene).

Delete Selected

Delete icon.

Select the trash can icon to delete the element or elements you’ve selected on the Scene Graph.

Duplicate Selected

Duplicate icon.

Select the duplicate icon to make a copy of the element(s) you’ve selected on the Scene Graph. The copy appears with a numerically incremented name in the Scene Graph.

For Example, to duplicate lights in your scene:

  1. Pull the Support hand thumbstick backward.

  2. Select the light in the Scene Graph.

  3. Select Duplicate on the Actions panel. The light is duplicated and added to Scene Graph, and appears in your scene.

    Choosing Duplicate on Action menu

    Duplicated light (transformed)

What's Next?

Now that you have learned about the Scene Editing Mode in Medium, check out World Settings Menu next.

Have a Question or Idea?

If you have a question to ask or an idea to share, come and participate in Medium Discord Community. We would love to hear from you. 

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