You have learned most of ZModeler features, know what most of notions mean and where they are used or what they are relates to. Now you can configure and customize ZModeler for your own choice.
First of all, you can hide unnecessary toolbars or floaters in View\ToolBars and View\Floaters. I recommend not to hide Messaging bar, even if takes lots of space, it's quite important to know when ZModeler prompts you on certain errors or if you try to apply any tool improperly.
Second, you can customize toolbars by removing unneccessary buttons and/or chaning their order. You can hold key and drag buttons to reorder or add spaces (separators) between them or you can drag buttons out of toolbar to remove them. You can right-click on toolbar and adjust it's layout in standard toolbar customization dialog.
Customization and layout of toolbars and floaters are saved separately for different screen resolutions. So, for example, you can have one layout for 1024x768 and another layout for 1280x1024.
Layout of viewports can also be customized via View\Layout menu. I recommend to disable "All Views Active" before adjusting views layout (you can enable it later). If your screen resolution is 1024x768 or lower, I recommend to use standard "four panes" layout.
Now pick in main menu Options\Settings. ZModeler's configuration box will appear. Almost all configuration settings are here, grouped on the left pane in a "tree of settings".
Configuration dialog box.
General options configuration.
Pick in the left pane General label and right pane will show a tree of even more settings.
Expand Views\Nodes [common] branch - here the settings which apply to all nodes (mesh, splines, dummies etc).
Expand Views\Splines branch - here the settings for spline nodes.
Expand Views\Meshes branch - here the settings for mesh nodes.
Expand Views\Tooltips branch. You can adjust behaviour of viewport tooltips. Note, these settings affect only viewport tooltips.
Expand Rendering and Rendering\Meshes branches. These are solely for 3D viewport rendering (do not affect perspective view).
This branch is self-explaining. If you make changes to colors scheme, you have to restart ZModeler, so changes take effect. You can disable your changes by unchecking "Enable colors customization" option (note, this might take no effect on some of non-standard UI elements color).
.Z3D Files Open/Save have been discussed in basic lessons.
Merge Collisions branch specify ZModeler behaviour when certain collisions occure while Merging file. File\Merge option is something like "Load .z3d file into current scene". There are two types of merge collision: "Object with such a name already exist" or "Material with such a name already exist". In both cases any of three behaviour approaches can be used to resolve collision:
Reload textures on change option allows ZModeler to reload externally modified textures. When this option is off, you can reload textures manually, using Reload button in Textures Browser.
Settings in Configuration box
About panel in "Configuration" dialog box is used for viewing current ZModeler version and to input Registration code when purchasing one.
This is a hardware rendering device selection/configuration box. If you have selected certain device options during first startup and not satisfied with them, you can select other options here and restart ZModeler.
This is a hotkeys customization dialog box. It consist of two-columns listbox and a hotkey selection controls for currently selected row in a listbox. The first column in listbox is a tool location and it's name. A checkmark (when set on) enables hotkey for this item (so you can assign/change hotkey). The second column shows currently assigned keys combination.
You can assign hotkeys for variouse tools and menu items. You can even set hotkey that will show\hide certain UI element (floater or toolbar). There is one more thing with hotkey for a tool however: "Select Tool" or "Apply Tool" choice. Even thought they are self-explaining ("select tool" will select this tool so you can use it then; "apply tool" will peform tool's action instantly), there is one limitation with "apply tool".
You can not assign "apply tool" hotkey to an interactive tools (those that require some user action: e.g, drag a mouse with button held, or something similar). Thus, you can't assign "apply tool" hotkey to "Copy", "Move", "Extrude" and such tools. One more thing about "apply tool" behaviour: it applies tool with it's current advanced options (if any) set. So, for example, "W" is a default hotkey for Modify\Submesh\Weld tool; when pressing "W" hotkey, this will apply the tool with it's current settings, so if it has "multiple target mode" set on, the result can be not what you are expecting. Keep it in mind when assigning hotkeys (and when leaving "multiple target mode" option On).
You can assign "Select tool" hotkeys for the tools you use most recently. Even
if this just selects the tool (in commands bar for example), you don't longer
need to scroll commands bar for a particular tool you need. Below is an example
of how hotkey can be set:
This listbox shows current set of plugins, including their location, version
and deffered-load status. So, if you are asked on forum for certain module
version in order to get proper support, you can check for version in this box,
Absence of certain module in this list means that it wasn't loaded. On the
image below, "PSM.zmf" filter was loaded (was used for importing or exporting),
and "MotogranPri2.zmf" filter loading was deffered (wasn't used, so it doesn't
This is a Textures search paths list. You can set up certain folders to be used when searching for textures, so you don't need to keep commonly used textures in each folder you are importing files from. Thus, for example you can set up "C:\Documents\GTA\Common" in search paths and GTA filter will search for textures in this folder too when importing files. You can press Add button to browse for a folder, or Delete button to delete currently selected row in a list. You can click on a path label in a row to edit it manually, so you can type what ever path you like: relative path, "folder-up" path, or just folder name (so this subfolder will be checked when importing a file from a location)
"Always Use" column is a check-option for each path. When set on, this path will always be used (even if you start new scene and such). When option not set, this path is valid for current .z3d file (paths are saved with .z3d file too) and will be lost if you start new scene.
Since paths are stored in .z3d files, I recommend to delete all absolute paths from this box if you are going to share .z3d file over internet. You paths on another computer might appear to refer to removable media, missing drive letter, or to protected drive/folder. You can however keep relative paths (e.g. add a "Textures" path and include all textures in Textures subfolder with your file).
This is a viewports layers manager box. It's in general for development purpose only and I don't recommend to make any changes here.
"Profile\Editor" in Configuration box.
Finally, profile editor box - it's very similar to Windows Registry Editor but it affects ZModeler2_profile.xml file only. The ZModeler2_profile.xml file is ZModeler configuration file, it stores all zmodeler settings (zmodeler does not uses windows registry at all), thus you can make changes in this configuration profile manually.
Export Selected Branch allows to save currently selected branch as .xml file. These files can be used to save and load your custom configuration. For example, you can save Profile/Services/Hotkeys branch (it's your hotkeys configuration) or Profile/Services/Configuration/General/Colors (it's your colors scheme). To add any of saved files into profile, you have to copy these files into Install\ subfolder of your zmodeler and start zmodeler. ZModeler will load these files and add their content to current profile.
ZModeler "eats" .xml files from Install subfolder. This means, that zmodeler loads file content and erases the file. So, you should place copies of your saved .xml files into Install folder if you don't want to loose them.
One more thing on installing addons via .xml. When loading files from Install folder, zmodeler adds their content to current profile. This results in mixing and surpressing current settings with the settings from addon .xml files. But in certain cases, you will need not to "mix" settings, but completely replace them (loading your own hotkeys is an example). You can make it possible by editing .xml file manually and placing magic "clear this branch" row in a file. I'm not going to explain you XML concepts here, just take it as is:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <profile xmlns:zmp="http://www.zmodeler2.com/xsd/zmp" > <zmp:folder name="Services" > <zmp:folder name="Hotkeys" > <!--Comment: we are in "Profile\Services\Hotkeys" branch at the moment. --> <zmp:folder name="Key_0000" > <zmp:key name="Title" type="s" value="&File\Exit" /> <zmp:key name="Key" type="u" value="0x4100058" /> </zmp:folder> . . . <zmp:key name="numKeys" type="l" value="33" /> </zmp:folder> </zmp:folder> </profile>
Above is my hotkeys branch, saved as a .xml file (I've omited most of unneded rows). To perform "clear this branch" operation, place the following code where needed (on example above, it should be placed where comment line is):
<zmp:inst action="clear" />
This row will clear current branch/folder content before loading further.
Delete Selected button will delete currently selected branch/item from profile. However, profile is kept in memory until you shutdown ZModeler. If you wish to force ZModeler to update it's ZModeler2_profile.xml file, you can press Save profile button.
Most of zmodeler plugins and services update profile settings when you close ZModeler, so certain changes you have made in profile editor can be lost. To avoid this, use "Save profile" button and create a copy of generated ZModeler2_profile.xml file.
Since ZModeler is plugin-based software, certain modules get updated when needed and other stay as is, if possible. This leads to more simple updates of software, since you download only updated or new components. You don't need to do it manually, zmodeler offers ZMAutoUpdate.exe utility. This tool can only be started from ZModeler folder (it requires zmodeler2.exe file). It obtains your current zmodeler plugins versions (no other information sent) and checks whether any new updates are available.
- If there are any updates, the following screen is shown
- Current file install folder
- Current file version
- Current file size
- Current file install on/off
- Total size of requried downloads
- Previouse file
- Next file
- Current file
- Start downloads and installing of updates.
The rest of autoupdater window shows version history for current file. It shows comments for latest release and comments for previouse versions, if you missed some of them. If no new updates found, No updates available will be shown and autoupdater will close.
If certain files are available for update, you need to shutdown ZModeler in order to install these updates. Autoupdater will prompt you about it if zmodeler is running.
You can set zmodeler to check for updates with autoupdater by setting Profile\Services\AutoUpdate\Period value to any desired period (in days). When set to 0, zmodeler will not check for updates, so you will need to run autoupdater manually.