How to create and use 3D graphics in Movicon.NExT

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Movicon.NExT uses the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) graphics rendering engine. This technology allows you to create new dynamic interface vector graphics systems in both 2D and 3D. The graphics libraries have been completely redesigned to provide objects and symbols of the highest quality. Dynamic animations and graphical features such as native multi-touch are all part of the new technology for modern HMI. Full support to importing XAML vector graphics and support to the traditional BMP, PNG, JPG and multimedia formats.

The 3D objects can be created with any preferred software as pleased (3DstudioMax, Maya, cinema4D and other). However, the objects must be exported with the 3ds. Extension. Therefore, it would be best to create objects to be as simple as possible by cutting out the small detail, such as screws, bolts and washers, that won’t be utilized and only make the file too heavy for exporting.

Once the 3ds has been exported we suggest using the Viewer3ds which is an application that can read 3D objects from 3ds files and convert them into XAML. The Movicon.NExT graphics are based on XAML which can be used in any WPF application. Even though there is a free demo version of Viever3ds, we advise you to use the paid version which costs about 90€ when doing professional work.

The 3ds is imported to the program and is exported by paying special attention to select “Viewport3DS” to do this. The XAML file will be placed in the Movicon project’s symbol folder and the symbol will be made available in the library.

3D object commands and animations

Once the object has been inserted it can be dragged from the symbol library and placed onto the screen page and sized as needed. After this has been done, it is then ready to be used and configured with the different animations and functions. Furthermore, the dynamic animation functions can be associated to each of the 3D model’s individual components, or component groups.

Here are some animation examples that can be used with 3D objects:

 

  • Element or element group coloring animation.
  • Movement animation on a linear axis within the screen’s workspace.
  • Movement animatin on an angular axis within the screen’s workspace
  • Visibility and transparency animation
  • Associate the 3D surface to a dynamic screen so that it becomes an integrant part of the 3D
  • Associate any command type to each element or element group.

 

It is also possible to memorize the views, being the angle from which to observe the 3D.  What’s more, 3D objects inserted on screen support the Zoom management and ‘views’ in function with the freely configurable rotation angle defined ‘Camera’.

Furthermore, operators can interact with the 3D object on screen, rotate it and zoom in/out as desired.  Different ‘views’ can also be memorized and called afterwards.  The views can also be called on event to position the object in a certain way according to system states and events.

Why use a 3D screen?

Creating a supervision project with 3D images gives the operator a 360° vision of the Screen’s contents. When using this management with the aid of Views, the image can be moved in response to certain events, such as the triggering of an Alarm associated to a component placed at the top of the object, therefore invisible in the default display. A management of this type also reduces the number of system screen pages used and at the same time replaces orthogonal projections with more comprehensible and detailed three-dimensional objects.

For instance, if a valve breaks but is positioned at the back of the factory, the valve is brought into view by being rotated to the forefront. This is just one small example. The use of 3D images in Building Automation for offshore plants to search for malfunctioning parts in complex machinery is in continuous expansion.

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