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3-D Preferences

Optimizing and customizing your 3-D display


Terrain Navigator Pro includes a number of options to customize the 3-D display. Open the File menu and choose Preferences, 3-D to configure options for viewing maps in 3-D. Press the 3-D View Button on the Toolbar to view maps in 3-D (or open the View menu and Choose 3-D.)

3-D Landscape Effects

Apply different effects to the 3-D landscape. Use these options to improve contour visibility, or to simulate different weather conditions or times of day.
  • Daylight: The standard lighting mode. (This is TNP’s original default 3-D lighting mode.) 
  • Fog: Shrouds the landscape in a simulated fog. Fog is thickest at the most distant portions of the map. 
  • White: The map image is removed, and the landscape is shown in white and shades of gray. 
  • Moonlight: Darkens the terrain. 
  • Wire Frame: The map image is replaced by a "wire" mesh pattern. Removing the map detail helps draw attention to the contours.
  • Overhead: Positions the light source directly over the map, changing the shadows. Overhead lighting is useful for brightening relatively flat areas, so map details are highlighted better. 
Choose Small, Medium or Large for the size of the map area to be displayed. On some older computers, a large area might slow performance. If the 3-D rotation/tilt controls seem slow, choose Small. To improve performance try updating your video display drivers.

3-D Arrow Controls

This setting affects how the 3-D arrow controls respond. Choose whatever movement method you find more intuitive.
  • Move Viewpoint in Direction of Arrow:
    When this option is checked, the arrows represent the direction in which you want to "go"- as though you were at the controls of an airplane or a car. For example, clicking the right arrow will move your viewpoint to the right. Clicking the in arrow will move you closer in to the map image. (This is TNP’s default setting.)
  • Move Landscape in Direction of Arrow:
    This produces the exact opposite effect as the one described above. The arrows refer to the map image itself (rather than your viewpoint). So, if you click the right arrow, it's as though you are reaching out and spinning the map image to your right. Likewise, clicking the in arrow is like pushing the map away from you, which gives you a broader view of the area.

Default View/Initial Settings

  • Vertical Exaggeration
    Vertical exaggeration emphasizes contours, making it easier to distinguish differences in relative heights. TNP’s default setting is 1.5, meaning that all elevations are shown at 1.5 times their actual value.

    The lowest setting available is 0.5, which downplays the elevations, showing all contours at half their true height. Choose varying degrees of exaggeration, up to 5 times the actual height. High exaggeration is useful for emphasizing contours in relatively flat areas. 

    Since this is an initial setting, this means that the setting you specify will automatically be used whenever you first enable 3-D View. You can increase and decrease the Vertical Exaggeration manually while viewing the 3-D image by using the Vertical Exaggeration buttons on the bottom of the 3-D Compass Control Bar; this setting is what Terrain Navigator Pro will use for your initial 3-D view.
  • Viewpoint Height
    Select a viewing angle for Terrain Navigator Pro to use when you first start 3-D View. Choose Ground, Low, Medium, High, or Very High.

    Since this is an initial setting, this means that the setting you specify will automatically be used whenever you first enable 3-D View. (You can adjust the Viewpoint Height in the 3-D view by dragging the control on the 3-D Compass Control Bar, but this is what Terrain Navigator Pro will use for your initial 3-D view.) 

Hardware Acceleration

If your computer system provides this option, check Use 3-D hardware acceleration when available to tell Terrain Navigator Pro to take advantage of this feature. You may find that you need to update your video drivers before you can take advantage of Hardware Acceleration. Turn off Use 3-D Hardware Acceleration When Available, in the event that your 3-D display is erratic or unpredictable. This also can commonly be used to correct incompatibilities with certain video cards. Common examples include the inability to use the 3-D Glasses display option.

For details on troubleshooting hardware acceleration and updating your video display drivers, please see this knowledge base article:
Video and Printer Driver Updates: How to apply them to improve TNP

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