Building Composer User Guide

This user guide explains how to use the Germanium Building Composer tool to compose your COLLADA datasets into buildings with BBL information.

Contents

Composing your Scene

Composing your building scene in the Building Composer is simple and intuitive.

  1. Add your COLLADA files
    • Launch Windows Explorer.
    • Drag the COLLADA files that you have prepared from Windows Explorer into the "landscape" section of Building Composer. Some drop targets will appear. (see figure below)
    • Drop the COLLADA file into the appropriate drop target to form a level.
    • Continue to add more COLLADA files to stack up the levels of your building.
  2. Edit the BBL properties (eg. name, description) of the Buildings, Blocks and Levels you have added.
  3. Export your scene, by selecting 'Export Scene' in the toolbar.
    • You can then view your exported scene by clicking 'View Exported Scene' button on the toolbar. If you are satisfied with the result, you can start moving the exported files for your GermaniumWeb application's use.

You can save your composed scene as a Building Composer project (*.bblproj) if you intend to work on it again.

Tip: It is perfectly fine to compose your scene in different ways, eg. instead of having a single Block with 10 levels, you can have Level 1 to 5 in a Block and Level 6 to 10 in a second Block. You can also have a separate building which only contains the terrain of the scene. Customize the BBL to suit your application's needs.

Output Files

When exporting the scene, Building Composer creates the following files:

Files created by Building Composer

where MyOffice is the filename entered.

All of the files uses relative file referencing. Hence, to share your exported scene with others, you can simply move the whole directory structure mentioned above to your network or portable storage. Anyone viewing the building scene just needs to have GermaniumWeb installed before opening building_composer_test.html.

Read more about webhosting the files in the File Migration Guide.

Note: The COLLADA files used are not needed for loading in GermaniumWeb.

User Interface

When you launch Building Composer, you will see a user interface similar to the one below. Each section of the interface is elaborated below.

The Building Composer User Interface.
The red text labels highlight the various sections of the Building Composer interface. Drop targets are shown only when a COLLADA file is dragged into the landscape.

Menu

File Menu

Export Menu

Help Menu

Toolbar

The toolbar contains shortcut buttons to perform some of the menu commands.

Building Tabs and Landscape

Each tab represents a Building in the scene. A project in Building Composer can consist of one or more Buildings, each of which is represented by a Building Tab. When a building tab is selected, the landscape is changed to display the blocks and levels of the selected building.

Work inside the landscape under the building tabs to compose your scene. The BBL tree on the left displays the resulting BBL structure of the scene created.

Adding a new Building

Adding Blocks and Levels to the Building

Note: Building Composer may take some time to process the COLLADA file that you just added. Check the status message to see if your new Level(s) have been successfully added.

Editing a Level

Removing Blocks and Levels

After a Level is deleted, the Levels above it will be shifted down, or for those below the ground level, the Levels below it will be shifted up. When the last level in a Block is removed, the Block is removed as well.

BBL Tree

The BBL Tree displays all the buildings, blocks and levels that have been created in the scene. You can use this to navigate the BBL structure you have created.

Note: The ordering of the buildings as shown in the BBL tree may not be the same as the building's index in the scene when it is loaded in Germanium.

BBL Properties

Inside the properties panel, you can edit the details of the BBL. These properties are used in GermaniumWeb applications.

The heights can be used by developers, e.g. to place the camera on a specific level.

When a COLLADA file is first dropped into the Landscape, Building Composer automatically searches for the highest and lowest points of the objects in the COLLADA file and use their positions as the height and floor height of the level respectively.

The Remove button located at the bottom right deletes the currently selected Building, Block or Level. You can also press the 'Delete' key to delete the selected Building, Block or Level.

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This page has been accessed 4,141 times. This page was last modified on 14 October 2010, at 05:31.


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