Model Browser

The Model Browser allows you to view the MotionView model structure while providing display and editing control of entities.

The Model Browser resides on a tab in a Tab Area sidebar.

There are two types of folders in the Model Browser: Container folders, and Entity folders. Container folders can represent either a System, Assembly, or an Analysis. These folders can contain entity folders and other container folders as applicable. Each entity folder contains entities of a particular type; such as springs, joints, and so on.

The Model Browser can be turned on or off using the Model Browser option located within the View pull-down menu. A check mark indicates the Model Browser is activated for display in the Tab Area.

Note: The Model Browser is dockable, meaning it can be positioned anywhere within the graphical user interface by dragging it with your mouse.
Tip: Click on the X to close the Model Browser.
Figure 1. Model Browser displaying many of various the entities available in MotionView

The key traits of the Model Browser are as follows:
  • Global default entities (such as Ground Body and Global Vectors) are listed at the beginning, under the Model folder, followed by the other container folders.
  • All of the entity folders within the container folders in the MotionView session will be listed in the tree in alphabetical order (for example: Bodies, DataSets, Markers, etc.).
  • Multiple entities of the same type are collected into a folder in the tree structure.
  • Each folder can be expanded or collapsed to display or hide its contents.
  • The variable name of each entity is displayed in the tree.
  • The ID, color, and display style of entities also display in the Model Browser, when appropriate.
  • The Browser Context-Sensitive Menu (available by right-clicking within the Model Browser) offers a variety of operation choices which are relevant to the entity and context.
  • Entities can be searched using keyboard inputs, as well as the Find tool.

Entity Selection

The Model Browser provides a powerful and easy way to find and query systems/entities, as well as to select entities for editing. When a system or entity is selected from the Model Browser, the system or entity is highlighted in the graphics area (if the entity has a graphic representation) and the corresponding entity panel is displayed in the bottom of the window.
Picking in the Model Browser tree list:
  • Left-click to select & highlight an entity in the browser – the entity is also highlighted in modeling window. Information related to the entity is displayed in the panel and available for modification.
  • <Ctrl> + left-click to select multiple entities in both the browser and modeling window.
  • <Shift> + left-click to select multiple (two or more) entities within the range in the browser and the modeling window.
  • Right-clicking highlights components in the list and invokes the Browser Context-Sensitive Menu – no highlighting of the entity in modeling window will occur with this operation.
Picking in the modeling window:
  • Left-click to select entities.

    Selected entities' line items highlight within the browser.

Column Headers/Display Controls

The column headers and display controls allow you to change the visual style (color, mesh/shaded, etc.) of the individual entities displayed in the modeling window. Each display control affects the specific entity that it appears beside. You can select which columns will be displayed by right-clicking on the column heading area and using the Browser Context-Sensitive Menu to enable/disable each heading (a check mark indicates that the column header is activated for display in the Model Browser).
Note: The display of the Objects column cannot be disabled/turned off.
The column widths may be changed/adjusted by dragging the line separating the columns, however the ordering of columns is fixed and cannot be changed (from left to right: Objects, Varname, ID, Color, Mesh).
Displays the labels of the items/entities that comprise the model.
Displays the variable name of each entity. The varname of entity is commonly used when constructing parametric expressions or when debugging models, however they cannot be changed or modified.
The ID column displays the ID of each entity (if available). Pair IDs are shown comma-separated (0,0). Entity IDs will only display in the Model Browser after a Check Model has been run, and they cannot be modified from the browser.
Displays the definition name for definition based entities such as: System, Assembly, Analysis, DataSets, Templates, Forms, and CommandSets.
Containers and entities can be colored individually, the Model Browser allows you to set each entity’s color without using the Graphic Entity Attributes panel. When appropriate, the currently assigned color for an entity displays in the Color column. To change an entity’s color, right-click on the current color in the Model Browser, click on Change Color, select a new color from the Colors/Materials dialog, and then click OK. When the color of a system is changed, the new color 'cascades down' having an effect on the colors of its children; the colors are updated in both the browser (icons) and in the modeling window. Similarly, changing the color of the 'Model' (top level container) will affect the color of all of the entities in the Model, therefore this feature should be used with caution.
Entities have several display states, based on a combination of their elements and their geometry. You can select these display modes by clicking the small icons in the Mesh column for each entity. Left or right-clicking allows you to open the Mesh/Shade dialog, from which you can choose the new style:
There are four line options to apply to model components:

Mesh Lines

Feature Lines

Edge Lines

No Lines

Click the appropriate button to display the desired feature; click another button to remove the feature.

Entities can be displayed with no shading, opaque, using material, or transparent.

Click to display the selected entities with no shading.

Click to display the selected entities as opaque. Opaque entities are solid and hide the entities behind

Click to display the selected entities with the selected material.

Click to display the selected entities as transparent. Transparent entities are see-through and reveal the obscured entities behind them.

Keyboard Shortcuts

The keyboard can be used to navigate up and down the Model Browser, as well as perform several other operations such as: expand/collapse, rename, and delete. The following keyboard shortcuts are currently available:
Up arrow key
Moves up the browser tree.
Down arrow key
Moves down the browser tree.
Left arrow key
Moves quickly up the browser and collapses various folders along the way. For example, when an entity is selected and the left arrow key is pressed four times:
  1. takes you to the entity folder
  2. collapses the entity folder
  3. takes you to the next parent folder
  4. collapses the next parent folder
Right arrow key
Expands a collapsed folder. Subsequent use will take you to the first available object within the folder (until an entity is encountered).
CTRL+Up arrow key
Scrolls up the browser tree without selecting the entity.
CTRL+Down arrow key
Scrolls down the browser tree without selecting the entity.
Selects the item that is currently chosen with the 'CTRL+Arrows'.
Takes you from the active item in the browser tree to the parent item (without collapsing the folders).
Takes you to the top level container 'Model' (at the top of the browser).
Takes you to the last entity (at the bottom of the browser).
Cuts the selected entity.
Pastes a previously cut entity into the selected container.
Selects all of the entities listed in the browser.
Unselects all of the entities listed in the browser.
Deletes the currently selected entity (after confirming the action in the Confirm Delete dialog).
Allows you to delete the currently selected entity immediately, without being prompted by the Confirm Delete dialog.
Allows you to rename the selected entity.
Displays the Find dialog, which can be used to find an entity.
Displays the context menu that appears on the right-click.

Entity Icons

Each of the entity labels are displayed with an icon image to indicate the entity type. The following section displays the icons for all MotionView entities that appear in the browser:
Reference Entities
Entity Icon
Deformable Curves
Deformable Surfaces
Constraint Entities
Entity Icon
Advanced Joints
General Constraint
Force Entities
Entity Icon
Spring Dampers
Control Entities
Entity Icon
Solver Variables
Solver Arrays
Solver Strings
Solver Differential Equations
Control SISOs
General MDL Entities
Entity Icon
Definition based entities (such as systems and datasets) are shown with two types of icons. These entities display a regular icon, if they do not share their definition with another instance of the same type. If the entity shares its definition with another instance, the icon is shown with a “hand” underneath the regular icon to indicate that it shares its definition.
Definition Based Entities
Entity Regular Icon Shared Icon
Analysis (Inline)

Refer to the Manage Shared Definitions topic for additional details.