TimeSensor
What is it?
The TimeSensor node assists in coordinating animations and timing sound files. With this node, you can specify beginning and ending times of the particular event, looping and level of user activity. For more details about this node, check out the VRML 2.0 Spec


Create the scene and add Cameras

1) First plan out a scene with all the objects, materials, animations and NavigationInfo that are needed. To the right, we have created a simple world for you to use as an example.

2) Next it is a good idea to add at least one 'Camera' which will be a 'Viewpoint' in the VRML file, but the file will still work without Viewpoints. NOTE: The more Viewpoints the better in VRML files. The different browsers have various navigation abilities and restraints, therefore the Viewpoints are the one consistent way the user can view the file.

3) To add a Camera, go to the Creation panel/press the 'Camera' button and Choose 'Target' as the Object Type.

4) With your mouse, drag the Camera in the 'Top' viewport and stretch it out.

5) To view what the Camera is seeing, go to the Perspective viewport and press 'c' on the keyboard. And there you are from the Cameras point of view.

6) The Camera is easy to adjust with the Move and Rotate buttons, so test them out.

7) Also it is good to name your Cameras. The Camera name is what the user sees in the VRML browser as the name of the Viewpoint. Otherwise it will default to Camera01, Camera02 etc. Which is pretty boring, if you have a great viewpoint to show off.

8) Viewpoints help tell a story in the VRML file, because you can lead the viewer to ideal viewing points of the model which they might not otherwise explore.


How to implement a TimeSensor into a MAX file:

9) To implement the TimeSensor into the scene successively, it is necessary to solidify the Grouping and Heirarchy levels and which parts will be moving.

10) If you want an animation to occur within a subgroup, but not to the entire parent group then follow these directions to implement the TimeSensor before moving on to the Parent group.

11) For example, if you want a particular subgroup to animate and loop AND the parent group to animate but not loop, then you must place the TimeSensor into the lowerlevel grouping first before adding an additional TimeSensor to the Parent group.

12) OTHERWISE just plan that if you want any animation or sound files in subgroups, you will have to 'Open' the top level group, do the animation and add the TimeSensor, and then 'Close' the group while objects in the original group are still selected.

13) For the TimeSensor node go to the 'Creation' panel and choose 'Helpers' Under 'Helpers' use the pull down the menu and choose VRML 2.0. Then choose the Object Type 'TimeSensor'.

14) Then go to your scene and drag the mouse anywhere. You will see an icon that signals to you that you have placed the TimeSensor.

15) Select the Pick Objects button to select the animated objects that will be coordinated by the TimeSensor. Select the objects or sound files with a mouse click OR press the keyboard letter 'H'. The selected objects will appear in the 'Pick Objects' box. Turn off the 'Pick Objects' button by pressing it again to get out of the selection mode.

16) Now you can choose loop--and the animation will run continuously, start on load--the animation will begin once the file is loaded, startTime & stopTime--where you correspond TimeSensor times to animation frames to provide for smooth animation.

17) In the Icon Size box, you can designate a larger or smaller icon size for the TimeSensor node---but this is only for the MAX file and has no bearing on the VRML file.

18) Now you have entered all possible information for the 'TouchSensor' node. If you need to go back, after leaving the Creation panel, and alter any of the parameters, then go to the 'Modify' panel and adjust.

19) Now you have successfully implemented a TimeSensor into your file.

20) To check, go to the 'Selection' menu! NOTE: You can name your TimeSensor in MAX in the 'Name' field.
How to Export MAX files to VRML:

21) Now go to 'File' and choose 'Export'. The Exporter knows that you are referring to the file that is open and requests that you name your file.

22) So first choose '.wrl' filetype Then name your file, i.e. 'SuchAndSuch.wrl'

23) Suggestion: Because you might need to go back to the MAX file and adjust part of your world, it is a good idea to keep the filename between to two files the same.
24) Check out a more elaborate sample file that demonstrates the TimeSensor.


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