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Top bar - Design mode
The Design mode provides all the settings to build, edit and control objects, lights, cameras and 2D elements.
This is the default mode you get when Vectary Studio opens. It includes primary features needed to start designing: Object controls and Menu Settings. All of the objects and their parts are shown in their rendered form right away, as real-time rendering in always on.
The upper bar displays buttons for switching between modes: Design, Animate, Interact
- Design mode: Start here, build a scene, create or import 3D assets, adjust materials and add graphic elements for interactions.
- Interact mode: set up interactions with triggers, conditions and actions.
- Animate Mode: create animations where you can adjust individual keyframes, and actions on a timeline.
Design mode tools
The horizontal tools bar can be found in the upper left-hand corner of the screen, next to the main menu.
Hover over any category icon to see a dropdown list of available tools.
You can read more about the basic commands here.
All of them are also available in the context menu, right-click on the object on the canvas itself or in the left panel.
Note the keyboard shortcuts shown next to each command. Using these will greatly increase the speed of your work.
- Duplicate Linked
- Convert to Geometry
- Hide Selection
- Lock Selection
- Auto Save — If turned on, the project is automatically saved every minute. When there are no changes to a project, there are no saves.
- X-ray mode — if turned on, other objects become translucent in edit mode.
- Grid — to hide / show the grid on the scene.
- Units — millimeters or inches. The dimensions of the grid are also measured in these units.
- Publish (legacy) — the old way to publish a project, now you need it for the following situations:
- to make the project available for the Figma Plugin
- To make the project work with the API
- Open Renderer — the old rendering method, now used for rendering with Photon and for downloading a custom-sized image.
Selecting objects is one of the main and most frequent actions. It is possible to select objects both on the scene and on the left bar. We recommend using hotkeys to speed up the workflow.
Ctrl/Cmdkey, and then select the object right away.
This is the tool that is used in Studio by default, when no other tool is selected. In this mode, you select objects one by one.
To select several objects with it, hold down
Shift (if you select on the scene) or
Ctrl/Cmd if you select from the left bar.
On the left bar, you can select objects in from and to mode by holding down the
Selection with a rectangular area.
Selection with Lasso.
👉 You don't have to finish the selection, it connects to the starting point automatically when you finish the selection.
Selects all objects that the line touches.
Selection of all objects except for the locked ones.
Selects everything except what is currently selected. This is useful when you want to select most of the objects in the scene, in which case it is easier to select a smaller part first and then apply the invert selection.
Primitives and 3D Text
Primitives are basic customizable forms.
Available to you: Box, Sphere, Cone, Cylinder, Tube, Torus, Plane, Polyhedron, 3D Text.
To quickly change the shape of the primitive, use the purple control points.
On the right bar, you can change the number of segments (or polygons, or faces). The segments are important. The more segments something has, the more it can change its shape. A simple analogy: the spine — the more vertebrae in the spine, the more flexible it is.
In Vectary it's very easy to work with 3D text. You can even paste the text into a scene from the buffer. Just copy the text somewhere and press
Ctrl+V in the Studio and the 3D text will appear on the scene.
🔥 You can use hundreds of fonts from the library or download your own in
You have all the same text settings at your disposal as in any text editor. The only difference is that the font size is adjusted using the Gizmo.
There are three additional settings that might be unfamiliar:
Quality — the higher the value, the more polygons, making the text more detailed and smooth
tip: value can be set manually above 100%
Depth — to adjust the depth of the text
Contour offset — makes the letters wider in outline
- Point Light — light spreads equally in all directions, as from a normal incandescent lamp.
- Spot light — light is emitted in the form of a cone from a single point. You can adjust the size of the spot and its softness.
- Directional Light — light is emitted from a source that is infinitely far away. It is not possible to bring the source of the light closer or farther away, but you can control the direction of the light. All the shadows cast by this light source will be parallel, ideal for simulating sunlight.
- Rectangle Light — light is emitted from a rectangular plane on one side. Change the width and the height of the rectangle, ideal for creating a very long and thin light source.
Modifiers are very useful and fun to use.
They can: multiply an object, mirror it, smooth it out, subtract the geometry of one object from another, and many other functions.
You can apply them in any number and in any order. Apply them to a single object, or you can apply them to several objects at once.
A modifier can be turned off at any time (when hovering a check mark icon appears). A modifier can also be removed at any level. Right-click and select Ungroup. It is easier to use
Ctrl+Shift+G, as it is a fairly common operation.
The beauty of using a modifier is that the object itself remains unchanged.
- Array Linear — to multiply the object along a line.
- Array Radial — to multiply the object along a circle.
- Array Grid — to multiply the object along to the shape of the grid.
- Array Object — Multiply the object along the surface of another object.
- Subdivide — Smooth out the geometry of the object. The higher the level, the more smooth it appears, but the number of polygons increases exponentially.
- Bevel — Create bevels. Specify which edges will be involved.
- Randomize — Distributes objects randomly throughout the scene, changing not only the position, but also the scale and rotation.
- Symmetry — Mirror an object. Change the symmetry plane or manually set where exactly the mirrored object will be located.
- Boolean: Union, Subtract, Intersect
Enable the Separate by material option so that each of the objects involved in the operation retains its material. This is especially impressive when combined with the Subtract operation:
- Union — combine several objects into a single one. This union differs from the merge, as the intersecting geometry will be removed creating a complete mesh.
- Subtract — Subtract the geometry of one object from another. Several objects can be subtracted from one object. The object from which the subtraction is performed should be at the bottom of the list.
- Intersect — to obtain a geometry that is the intersection of two or more objects.
The video below shows the result of converting Boolean to geometry. Each part of the object will remain a separate object after conversion:
Deformers work on exactly the same principle as modifiers. The difference is that they actually change the shape of the object.
When applied to an object, put the object in a group first, to create its own deformer effect. Apply them in any number or order. Apply them to a single object, or apply them to several objects at once.
Their function can be turned off at any time (check mark icon appears when hovering). The deformer can be removed at any level. Right-click and select Ungroup. It is easier to use
Ctrl+Shift+G, as it is a fairly common operation.
The beauty of using a deformers is that the object itself remains unchanged as long as you don't convert the modifier to geometry.
- Bend — for bending.
- Twist — For shape twisting.
- Taper — Create a tapered shape.
- Skew — Skew the object, preserving the axes of the upper and lower planes.
- Stretch — Stretching the shape.
- Spherify — Give the object a spherical form, as if to inflate it.
- Noise — Used for disorderly curvature.
- Simplify — This deformer is different from the others. It is used to reduce the number of polygons. If the object has a large number of polygons, use it to reduce the number of polygons without destroying the geometry. Try to find the intensity value at which Simplify does not destroy the geometry. If the object has a complex mesh and a lot of polygons, the browser can't handle the miscalculation and generates an error.
Here you can find all other tools outside of the categories mentioned above:
Ctrl + G
Use groups to organize a clear and convenient structure. Place all the objects, regardless of the amount into a group.
This operation allows you to dissolve a group at any level without removing its children.
This function is used often, and it is not only needed to remove a group. This action is primarily used to dissolve modifiers/deformers.
⚠️ When you delete a group, you also delete its children.
- Camera — read about it here: Camera
- Backdrop — adds an object to the scene that replaces both the floor and the background at the same time. It has several settings: Angle, Offset, and number of Segments, which determine the smoothing of the angle.
- Smooth normals — to make objects look more natural, by default the normals look smooth. This anti-aliasing has no effect on the geometry of the object. It only creates an impression of smoothing by changing the information about how the light is reflected. If you need to see every edge clearly (for example, if you want to create a crystal) set it to 0. If, on the contrary, you don't want to see facets, increase the value until you like the result. However, setting it too high will look unnatural.
Read about it here:
Switching to Edit mode
To start working with object mesh geometry, switch to Edit mode. You can only work with one object at a time. How to enter Edit mode:
- double-click on the object
- select the object and press Enter
- select the object and right-click → Convert to geometry
- select the object and
Shift + 2
If you press
Shift + 2 without selecting an object, it will take you directly to Edit mode and a new object will automatically be created. Nothing will be visible on the canvas, but in the left bar, a new object named Buffer Object will appear. Start creating object geometry from scratch with the Edit mode tools.
Convert to geometry (Baking)
When the system asks you,
"Convert object to geometry?"
This means you are trying to open a parametric object in edit mode.
Before converting the object is in the so-called parametric state, meaning that it can be modified using parameters. If the object is already geometric, the system will automatically open the Edit mode.
By adding a primitive to the scene, its shape can be changed using the purple dots or various parameters on the right bar - these changes are parametric. Changing the shape of an object with a deformer is also an example of parametric modeling.
The convenience of parametric modeling is that you can easily change the shape of an object at any stage of the design process. But, to change the object geometry, you must convert the object into a geometric mesh first. This operation is called geometry baking.
Baking can literally be thought of as baking dough in the oven. The object is the dough. The deformer/modifier is the baking mold.
As long as you haven't put the dough in the oven, you can do whatever you want, transfer from one mold to another and so on. Once you decide to bake it, there is no going back. 🙂 Thankfully, in Vectary, unlike in real life, you can always press
Ctrl + Z, and that will cancel the baking.