Managing Appearances and appearance.dmt Files in Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0
When working in an environment where numerous models require different color schemes, the appearances that are created may be stored in separate locations under different names. The following technique covers the functionality that is used in managing these files, and provides advice for maintaining them efficiently.
All of the appearances are managed through a single interface, the Appearance Editor dialog box (Figure 1). From this location, new appearances can be created and added to the Palette, new appearance.dmt files may be added, and appearances may be modified or assigned to models and surfaces.
Suppose you were working on a particular project, and you had defined the three additional appearances in Figure 1. To save these appearances for use in a later session, select File > Save As from the top of the Appearance Editor dialog box. The only type you can set the file to is Appearance (*.dmt). Enter the name of the file, and Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 will save it with a ".dmt" extension. If you create additional appearances and want them saved to the same appearance.dmt file, select File > Save. Since the file name exists in your directory at that point, Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 will ask you whether you want to Overwrite the existing file, or Append to the existing file.
Both operations have the same result if the only change is that new appearances have been added. The end result will be a newer version of the .dmt file with the new appearances added. If appearances have been removed from the Palette, then Overwrite and Append will have different effects. Overwrite will save the .dmt files without the appearances that have been removed from the Palette (i.e. what you see in the Palette is what will be saved to the file). Append will simply add the new appearances to the .dmt file on disk, so the removed appearances will still appear in the .dmt file if it is loaded at a later time.
Suppose that you had saved a .dmt file from a previous session, and wanted to load that into the palette in addition to the appearances that you've just defined. Select File > Open, and select or navigate to another .dmt file in a different directory. The appearances from this new file will be added in the palette after the appearances that have already been defined/loaded (Figure 2).
If you would like Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 to load colors automatically in every new session that you start, you must meet these conditions:
- The colors must be stored in a single file called appearance.dmt
- The config.pro option PRO_COLORMAP_PATH must be set to the directory in which the appearance.dmt file resides. So if the full path to the file were c:/users/files/misc/appearance.dmt, your setting in the config.pro file would look like:
This option may only be set once in the config.pro. Subsequent settings will be ignored.
Some miscellaneous points:
- Colors assigned to models from a .dmt file that has since been lost may be added to the palette (then written to a new .dmt file) by selecting From Model, and selecting the model surface with that color.
- Moving the cursor over any of the tiles will cause the appearance name to appear in a "tool tip" window (Figure 3).
- Selecting Options > Rendered Samples will cause Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 to render each of the appearance tiles (Figure 4). This may take some time for Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 to complete, however, depending on the number of appearances, and the complexity of each.
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