Here we will help you grasping the most of Boat Scenario. It is quite straightforward to use, with a big area to move boats around. However you may feel blocked until you get the basics.
The behaviour of the application is based on editing modes. They represent different states in which the mouse will play the different roles we need.
You can see in which mode you are from two places:
- with the text in the status line at the bottom of the window,
- and looking at the pressed buttons in the toolbar.
The default mode is used to move objects around. This happens when no button is pressed and no text is displayed in the status line.
To exit the current mode, just choose another mode, or select again that mode to return to default mode.
Here we are, an empty page again. Time to add the tracks we want, in order to illustrate our scenario.
The Toolbar and the Edit Menu contain all the necessary entries to set the modes in order to draw:
- will set the mode to "track creation".
Left-clicking in the edition area will create a new track which represents the path that a boat followed through time. This track keeps a specific boat colour. Your first position for the track is recorded.
After we have created a track, the mode will automatically switch to "boat creation" in order to add new boat positions.
- will set the mode to "boat creation".
When left-clicking in the edition area, the currently selected track will have new positions added to its path. The boats are numbered so that you don't get lost.
During this mode, you can set the heading for a boat with holding the right mouse button and moving the mouse in the direction of the new heading.
Also note that a boat can receive various options, like flags, overlap lines, and many more.
- will set the mode to "mark creation".
Just left-click in the edition area to add your marks.
Also note that a mark can receive a zone, a text bubble or laylines.
- will set the mode to "polyline creation".
Left-clicking in the edition area will create a polygon which represent anything you need.
After you have created the first point, the mode will automatically switch to "point creation" in order to add new points to the polygon.
- will set the mode to "point creation".
Left-clicking in the edition area will add more points to the curent polygon.
Also note that each point can receive a text bubble or laylines.
Work with Selection
The boats, marks, points... act like objects that you can move and orient. We will describe what can be done on a selection of objects.
Note that many actions depending on the object are available with a right click on the object. The actions are also acailable in the Edition Menu.
Handling the items
- To select items, in the default mode only, left-click on the object. You can use Control+Click to select multiple objects.
- To move the selected items, hold the left mouse button and move around. You can also use the arrow keys for precision move.
- To delete the selected items, use the in the Edit Menu, or use Del key.
- To set the heading for the selected boats, hold the right mouse button and move the mouse in the direction of the new heading. You can also use the + and - keys for precision heading.
Item specific options
There are more options that can be applied to items. For this you can right click on the items and a menu will appear with the available choices.
- To trim the sail of the selected boats, use the < and > keys.
- To toggle the overlap lines on port and/or starboard, use the Alt+< and Alt+> keys. You can alternatively use the Edition Menu entries.
You can tweak many options from the left pane, which we'll describe now.
- The pick list lets you define which boat you want to use from the beginning. This mainly influences two things: the size of the grid pitch, and which boat type will be created when you are in mode.
- The checkbox is pretty explicit.
- The box lets you define the angle of the closehauled or downwind that you want to use. This has consequences on many parts:
- the grid if drawn will use this angle,
- If you display laylines on objects, the angle is adjusted accordingly,
- the "snap angle", which is the preferred angle for a boat, lets you reach this preferred angle for closehauled or downwind,
- boats above that angle will have their sails lose its volume.
- The is used by mark zone, also depends on the option above,
You can display the wind arrow through the left pane checkbox .
You can then set the wind direction with the table that appeared at the bottom of the left pane: double-click on the cell on the empty line, and set the direction from there.
Last powerful option is you can make the wind shift during your animation. If you add more lines to the table, you can set the wind direction for each step of the diagram. Sail will be trimmed accordingly, and you can thus build animations which make use of wind shift!
After we have a nice set of tracks which depict our scenario, it is time to animate those and see how realistic the situation has turned out.
- In the Edition Menu, click on to switch to "animation mode".
The buttons in the animation bar are now available. You can use the // buttons at will.
You will notice that two boat positions are separated by 2 seconds. In some cases where boat positions are more than 90 degrees from one to the other, the trajectory is "stalled" and specific heading animation is applied to simulate this.
- The action will toggle between infinite replay animation or single play.
- While not playing, you can also move the cursor in the slider to set the time yourself.
- The may propose you to save your previous work before going to an empty situation.
- The lets you open a scenario file in the .xbs format.
- The is available as soon as you edit the scenario.
- The is active when you have already saved once, to save your new changes in the same file.
- The will take a snapshot of the current view in the edition area, and let you save it in an image file. You have a variety of image formats to suit your needs. Note that the size of the Window is used to determine the size of the image.
- The , , and will generate a formatted scenario, using the various information like title, rules, abstract and description and the current view of the Scene and present all this in paper form.
- The will create and animated gif file of the scenario. Note that the size of the Window is used to determine the size of the image.
- Every editing action can be reverted and reapplied again with the and actions in the History Menu.
Published on Sunday, November 9 2008 by boats