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Alias Surface Orientation Tool

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The orientation of surface normals are import for many aspects of visualization and modeling in Alias. Whether you are offsetting surface or calculating Ambient Occlusion, your normals need to point out. The Set Surface Normals Tool allows you a quick and easy way to make sure everything is orientated properly.

Click HERE to watch the video

Created by Aaron… Your Alias CAD Geek!

Alias Move CV Tool

The Move CV tool is extremely useful for manipulating CVs in a controlled manner. In the video I will demonstrate how I use to tool to bring my CVs into alignment.

Click HERE to watch the video

Created by Aaron… Your Alias CAD Geek!

Alias Keyframe Animation

Alias allows you to create animations of your products using key frame animation.
Key framing allows you to capture movements over a period of time. This very useful for visualizing the functionality of a product you are designing.

Click HERE to watch the video

Created by Aaron… Your Alias CAD Geek!

Alias rendering in DOS…. (the super geek post!)

Alias comes with a bunch of command line rendering tools, such as renderer, raytracer, powercaster, and powertracer. These programs allow your to render without Alias running in order to take advantage of all the horsepower you machine has to offer. These programs have been around for a long time and were a favorite of mine back in the Unix days. I would remotely log into machines that weren’t being used in the studio and run my renderings on those machines.

So today I will walk you through this process. To start we need to save an SDL file out of Alias. This file stores all the rendering information from the Render Globals, Shaders, Lights, etc. needed to render the file.

Go to File -> Export -> SDL

Next we will need to open up a Command Window.

Go to Start -> Run -> type Cmd -> Enter

Once in the command window navigate to the appropriate project directory.

Next we use one of the following commands to render the sdl file I named test_01:
renderer – this renders a raycast image
raytracer – this renders a raytraced image
powercaster – this renders a raycast image on all available processors
powertracer – this renders a raytraced image on all available processors

Type the appropriate command: renderer sdl/test_01

This tells the computer to use the renderer program to raycast the file “test_01″ in the sdl directory.

Once the file is rendered you can view the results by using the fcheck command.

Navigate to the pix directory

Type the following command: fcheck test_01.tif

You image will appear in a new window.

That is all there is too it. Not to bad. If you want to get even more indepth there are many options you can include in the rendering commands. You can view these command in the Alias Help docs under Command Line Options.

Created by Aaron… Your Alias CAD Geek!

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