Frequently Asked Questions

:: General

Q: Is a Mac version of trueSpace 7.6x available?

A: No. trueSpace has always required Microsoft Windows. trueSpace 7.6x is only available for PCs running Microsoft Windows XP with DirectX 9c or Microsoft Windows Vista with DirectX 10. It also runs under the forthcoming Windows 7 with DirectX 11. (Note: « DirectX » is the 3D rendering engine built into Windows that trueSpace uses for real-time rendering.) Multicore processors and both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows are supported.

However, this does not mean that you cannot run trueSpace on a Mac—what it means is that you will need an « Intel Mac » and it will need to run a PC emulator (like BootCamp) and have a full version of Windows XP/Vista with DirectX 9c/10 installed. We explain this so you’ll know it is possible but we don’t recommend it because you will get better performance (with comparable hardware) running trueSpace on a « native » Windows PC.

Q: Why is there a « Model Side » and a « Workspace Side »?

A: Beginning with version 7.x, trueSpace is actually two programs connected by a « Bridge ». The « Model Side » is the old 6.6 version of trueSpace. The « Workspace Side » is the new program. The older Model Side was bolted into the new program sort of like a big plugin to provide backward compatibility and access to plentiful Model Side tools. The purpose of the « Bridge » was to allow you to move your work back and forth between the two sides while the program was being converted to it’s new architecture: the Workspace Side. Note: The last release of trueSpace (version 7.61) was available in two editions, including a « Std » (Standard) / « Rosetta » edition which contained only the Workspace Side. While the transition to the Workspace Side was not completed and some Model Side features and tools had not yet been ported to the Workspace Side when trueSpace development unexpectantly ended in May 2009, yet the Workspace Side is very powerful and offers third-party developers extensive access to its kernel so that development can continue via plugins and scripts.

Q: Does this mean that trueSpace will no longer be maintained?

A: Yes and no. All official development of the core trueSpace program, itself, ceased in May 2009 when Microsoft, in the midst of an ailing global economy and unprecedented layoffs, was forced to pull funding from Caligari, its wholly owned subsidiary and the author of trueSpace. Perhaps Microsoft will restart development after the economy rebounds—we don’t know.

Regardless, there is good news: trueSpace 7.x is unique in that it was designed to expose the kernel (core engine) of its new architecture (the Workspace Side) to third-party plugin developers so they would have nearly the same access as the Caligari programmers. To facilitate this, Caligari provides a free trueSpace SDK (software development kit) to aid plugin and script developers. This enables third parties to continue to add features and extend trueSpace. Indeed, a trueSpace development community is continuing to grow.

Plus, with support for multicore processors, 64-bit PC hardware, 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows (including Windows 7), trueSpace 7.6x should not be outdated anytime soon.

Q: Is trueSpace 7.6x compatible with 64-bit versions of Windows?

A: Yes. Since version 7, trueSpace has been compatible with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows.

Q: Can trueSpace 7.6x take advantage of multicore CPUs?

A: Yes. Since version 7, trueSpace has been designed to support multicore computer processors in order to speed its operation.

Q: I’m more comfortable using text-style menus for some operations. Do I have to always use icons when working with trueSpace 7.6x?

A: You do not have to use icons and you can use text menus if you prefer. This is one of the unique features of trueSpace 7.x—you can choose how to view the Workspace Side. If you like icons, you can view the Workspace with just icons. If you prefer drop down menus, one click turns the icons into text menus. You can even mix and match between text and icons. trueSpace 7.x truly allows the user to work in the way that is best for them.

Q: I’ve used earlier versions of trueSpace but I’m having a hard time diving into the new Workspace Side of trueSpace 7.x. Why is everything so different?

A: It is not really that different and the old trueSpace 6.x user interface is only one click away on the Model Side. It is true that version 7.x has a whole new software architecture that allows for more rapid tool development. This new architecture is called the « Workspace Side » and it is the new default user interface for trueSpace 7.x. However, you can switch to the old user interface by clicking on the « Model » tab in the program’s title bar. Even better, you can switch back and forth between the old and new user interfaces during a single project or even work session via the Bridge. This may seem unusual at first, but it gives you the added power of combining old familiar tools with the new ones on the same object. The original plan was to migrate all trueSpace 6.x tools to the new Workspace Side. Even though this was not fully completed by the time trueSpace development stopped in May 2009, the Workspace Side is very powerful and it will continue to gain capabilities as advanced third-party plugins and scripts are added.

Q: Will my plugins for earlier versions of trueSpace work with trueSpace7.6x?

A: Compatibility between trueSpace 7.6x and older plugins is nearly 100% thanks to the inclusion of the Model Side. If a plugin worked under trueSpace 6.6, it will most likely work in the Model Side of trueSpace 7.6 and 7.61. However, there is one exception: The unique 7.61 « Standard » (« Rosetta ») version contains only the Workspace Side and therefore cannot use any Model Side plugins.

Q: Will trueSpace 7.6x work with my graphics tablet?

A: Limited support for graphics tablets is available primarily on the Model Side of trueSpace 7.6x. Unfortunately, full support was not implemented before development ceased in May 2009. However, it is possible for a third party developer to extend graphics tablet support via a plugin.

Q: Does trueSpace support dual displays?

A: Yes. trueSpace fully supports dual displays.

  • Workspace side supports dual display natively.
  • In Modeler, you can enable dual display in the Preferences panel (tS6_File menu > Preferences). This allows to open new Modeler 2D/3D views and drag them on your secondary monitor.

Q: How can I save my custom Layout?

A: There are 2 ways:

  • Method 1 – Select the « Save » command from the File menu. Then select « Layout files (*.rsl) » for the Type of File. Use the same File menu if you need to load a Layout.
  • Method 2 – Open the Library Browser and search « Layouts – Configurations ». You will see a Layout panel on your Stack Library panel. Right click and select « Insert ». Note: If you reset trueSpace, your Layout will be visible with the other default tS Layouts on the main toolbar the next time that you launch the program.

Q: Why can’t I load my trueSpace 7.5x Workspace custom layout in trueSpace 7.6x?

A: Because version 7.5 and earlier layouts are not compatible with version 7.6x layouts.

Q: What is trueSpace file format ? In which formats can we import and export ?

A: TrueSpace7.6 has two different menus for saving/loading content :

  • When a Modeler view is opened (Model tab was selected), you can see a « TS6 Files » menu. This menu load and save trueSpace objects and scenes in the historical format : .scn for scenes files and .cob for objects files.
    It also loads : .wrl, .wzr, .x, .stl, 3ds, .prj, .asc, .dxf, .lwo, .geo, .iob, .sob, .ai, .ps, .eps and .sel formats.
    It also saves : .can, .asc, .dxf, .x, .stl
    Other import/export files formats are supported, as .obj and several others, via Modeler plugins.
  • In the main top bar, you see an other menu. This one is relative to trueSpace’s new architecture. That menu loads and save content into and from the Workspace window. It can also be used to manage content using the 2D View / Link Editor, store items inthe libraries, etc. The new architecture is using specific file formats. The extensions for Workspace file formats always have 5 letters or more, and starts with « Rs » : .RsScn, .RsObj, .RsMat, .RsSLGts, .RsPrj, .RsCSh, .RsLWm, .RsPhysMat, RsPhysEnv, .RsSkel, .RsRcd, RsClip, .RsAvItem, .RsAvatar
    The variety of these formats reflects the extreme versatility of the new architecture.

Q: Can the new trueSpace 7.6x « RsScn » scene files be used with older versions trueSpace?

A: No. « RsScn » scene files can only be opened by the same version of trueSpace that created them. They are not backward compatible with previous versions of trueSpace. For example, trueSpace 7.61 RsScn files cannot be opened by trueSpace 7.6, 7.51 or 7.5, etc. And trueSpace 7.6 RsScn files cannot be opened by trueSpace 7.51 or 7.5, etc. However, there is upward compatibility—older scenes can be loaded into newer versions of trueSpace. For example, you can open a trueSpace 7.5 scene with trueSpace 7.61.

Q: I only want to use the Model Side (6.6) / I only want to use the Workspace Side (7.x). How do I do that?

A: Disable the Bridge as follows:

1. Switch to the Model Side by clicking the Model tab in the upper left corner of the program.
2. Select the Setting tab in the upper right corner of program.
3. Set the Bridge option to « Off » with the drop down list in the Desktop section (upper portion of the Setting tab). Note: The default Bridge setting is « Auto ».

This will disable the Bridge, freeing up computer resources. Note: When turning off the Bridge, you will NOT be able to transfer changes between the Workspace and Model Sides. To do that you must reactivate the Bridge.
Don’t forget that if you’re using trueSpace 7.61 and you want to use only the Workspace Side, there is a Workspace Side-only version available. It is called the « std » (Standard) or « Rosetta » version and, since it does not contain either the Model Side or the Bridge, it runs faster and uses less system resources. If desired, you can have both the full trueSpace 7.61 edition (with both Workspace and Model Sides) and the trueSpace 7.61 standard/Rosetta edition (with just the Workspace Side) installed on the same computer because each program installs to a different path. Then you can pick which version of the program to run.

Q: Why can’t I see things properly in the Workspace and/or why do things not display correctly in trueSpace?

A: Your graphics card may need to be upgraded and/or its drivers may need to be updated. Ensure that your graphics card fully supports DirectX 9 and that you have installed the latest drivers for it. Better yet, get a graphics card that fully supports DirectX 10 if you’re using Windows Vista.

Q: How can I get the manual to open and use the Table of Contents links?

A: Check that the files for the manual are installed to the correct path. It should be:

    [drive]:\[trueSpace folder]\tS\PDFMan\

The « PDFMan » folder must reside in the « tS » folder. There are additional folders containing the videos for the manual (identified by chapter) located in a « resources » folder inside the « PDFMan » folder. For example:

    [drive]:\[trueSpace folder]\tS\PDFMan\resources\chapter1\

You should be able to just click on the Manual icon in the program to open the manual and the video links in the manual should work.

Q: How do I find stuff in the manual?

A: You can use the Adobe Reader’s built-in search functions:

1. Click on the Manual icon to open the trueSpace manual.
2. In your browser’s address bar delete « ts76_manual.html » from the address and click « go ». This will open the pdf manual folder.
3. Copy the path in the folder’s address bar and double-click on any pdf document in the folder.
4. On your Adobe Reader toolbar, click on the down arrow next to « Find » and select « Full Search ».
5. When the search window opens type in the word or phase you want to search for and select « All PDF Documents In » and paste in the path that you copied from the manual’s folder.

Adobe Reader will list all the occurrences of your query in each chapter and will include the context in which it’s used.

You can also use your Windows search tool:

1. Click on Start and select Search.
2. In the search dialog enter your query for a word or phrase in the file.
3. Under « Look In » either browse to the « PDFMan » folder or type in the path to the manual folder.
4. Click on Advanced Options and check « Search Subfolders ».

It’s also a good idea to make sure « Case Sensitive » is unchecked. Click on the search button. All occurrences of your query in all chapters of the manual will then be displayed in the search results. You can also install the Index Files that Clintonman put together.

Q: How do I make a Floating Panel from an item in the Panel tab?

A: With your object selected so it shows in the stack, hold down the Ctrl key and then drag the desired panel out of the stack. This creates a floating panel for your object. This works for standard objects like cones, spheres, toruses. But it also works with custom objects you create using scripts and the Link Editor (LE).

Q: I closed the Link Editor (LE) and now I cannot find how to open it again.

A: How to open LE again:

1. On the bottom row of icons, the LE icon is in the flyout set of icons, 4th from the right.
2. Hover your mouse over the icon that is there. The tooltip will appear. If it does not say « LE Window », click and drag that icon. A flyout window of icons will appear.
3. Hover over each of those icons, reviewing the tooltip. When you find the one that says « LE Window », let go of the left mouse button.
4. The LE should open.

This process also applies to other items as well. All of the icons have tooltips associated with them. The icons and their default positions are described in Chapter 2 of the manual.

Q: How do I see a hierarchy view of my scene?

A: Use the Scene View icon. It is located in the same icon flyout window as the Link Editor (LE) icon. In the Default configuration, the icon set is the 4th set from the rightmost set, in the lower right hand corner of the program. Click and drag the currently visible icon. The flyout window will appear. Hover the mouse over each icon to view the tooltip for that icon. The Scene View icon looks similar to the LE icon, but with more « levels » visible (a level is a grey bar in the icon).

Q: How do I know which item is selected in the Link Editor (LE)?

A: Select the item in 3D space or in the LE. When you do (in the LE) below the title of the node, there will be two tabs: « Exp » and « Default ». No other nodes will be selected like this. This is the indication of which node is selected.

Q: What are « nurbs »?

A: The word « nurbs » is an acronym for: Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline. Nurbs are the playdough of the 3D modeling world—you can create most any shape by squeezing and pulling them. Technically, nurbs are mathematical models representing curves and surfaces that are typically used to create flexible shapes for freeform modeling. Nurbs are only available on the Model Side of trueSpace. Caligari did not have time to port them to the Workspace Side before all trueSpace development ceased.

:: Hotkeys and Shortcuts

Q: I prefer a hotkey type workflow. Where can I find the list of keyboard shortcuts for trueSpace?

A: The keyboard shortcuts are listed on page 52 of Chapter 2 in the trueSpace manual. The section is: 2.4.5 « Preset Shortcuts ».

Q: How do I set my own keyboard shortcuts?

A: Keyboard shortcuts can be setup by Ctrl + right clicking on an icon then, when the « Assign shortcut » dialog box displays, press the key combination that you want to use to activate that tool. Click « OK » to close the dialog will set the shortcut.

Q: How do I save my keyboard shortcuts?
A: Keyboard shortcut changes are automatically saved upon exiting trueSpace. So exiting and restarting trueSpace will save your custom shortcuts.

Q: Is it possible to save a backup of my Workspace shortcuts?

A: Yes. You need to backup this file and replace it if needed: [drive]:\[trueSpace folder]\tS\Scripts\Window.Shortcuts.xml. Important: If you uninstall trueSpace you will lose your shortcuts so is good to know how to back them up.

:: Animation

Q: How do I freeze a cloth animation frame to save the object?

A: Use the Start/Stop physics button. It has a third status, Continue, so you can run stepwise through cloth animation. To add this functionality you have to check in the Link Editor (LE) the setting for « Continue » in the PhysEngine.

Q: I have two encapsulated objects that won’t break. How can I break them?

A: First, there have to be minimum of two objects for an encapsulation. Second, make sure that you set the encapsulated object as « Breakable » on the Forces tab of the PhysObject in the Link Editor (LE). Third, a force must be exerted on the object to break it. This can be gravity (falling) or pushing.

:: Rendering

Q: Which offline render engines are included with trueSpace 7.6?

A: LightWorks and VirtuaLight and both run ONLY in the Model Side.

Q: Are there any other render engines for trueSpace?

A: Yes. Dribble(3Delight), V-Ray and YafaRay are each available via trueSpace plugins or scripts.

Q: Do any of the above render engines work in the Workspace Side?

A: Yes. Indigo, V-Ray and YafaRay can be used in Workspace Side. Here is a list of the render engines and the sides they support:

  • LightWorks (included with trueSpace) — Model Side only.
  • VirtuaLight (included with trueSpace) — Model Side only.
  • Dribble (RenderMan) — Model Side only (but this may change in the future).
  • Indigo — Workspace Side only.
  • V-Ray — BOTH Workspace Side and Model Side.
  • YafaRay — Workspace Side only.

Q: I Installed V-Ray but it will not render. Why?

A: After the initial installation the new plugin needs to be installed into the Package Manager of trueSpace 7.6x.

Q: I press the render button but I just get a message saying that there is no offline renderer installed. Why?

A: There are two render buttons: one for the Workspace Side and one for the Model Side. The Workspace render button will only work if you have V-Ray installed (purchased separately). You can render with LightWorks or VirtuaLight from the Model Side by using the render button on the Model side.

Note: There are separate tools for each Side (Workspace and Model). Some of these tools look and work similarly—but they work only with their respective Side. If you are on the Model Side, you must use the Model Side tools. If you are on the Workspace Side, you must use the Workspace Side tools.

Q: I want to use LightWorks to render my Workspace Scenes. How do I do that?

A: Perform all your work on the Workspace Side. Then, when you are ready to render your final image/animation, turn the Bridge to « On, Full Merge ». Then switch to the Model Side and select LightWorks as your renderer. Make sure the « Workspace » option is selected.

Q: How do I open the VirtuaLight (VL) Properties Panel? (Model Side)

A: First make sure that you have VirtuaLight selected as your render engine. You can do this by either right-clicking the Render icon at the top of the Model window or use the tSFiles dropdown menu and select « Preferences ». With VirtuaLight selected as your render engine, another right-click on the render icon at the top of the Model window should bring up the VL properties panel.

As of this entry, we have a known bug that prevents the VL Properties panel from showing up for some users. If you have followed the above steps and are still unable to bring up the VL properties panel. Here is the bug fix:

Try this first: Close trueSpace and move the « truespace.cfg » file inside your [drive]:\[trueSpace folder]\tS\ folder to another location so the program won’t see it. Then re-launch trueSpace. Check to see whether you can now access the VL Properties panel.

If you’re still having a problem, you can manually make the required entry to the Windows registry:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Caligari trueSpace7\VirtuaLight\MainPanel]

« PanelX »=dword:00000208

« PanelY »=dword:000000d3

Open Regedit (Start > Run, type « regedit », click « Ok »). Follow down to the path mentioned above (HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Caligari trueSpace7\VirtuaLight\MainPanel) and delete the two dwords already there. Now go to the Edit menu > New > Dword – name is « PanelX » (caps included), the hex code is 00000208. Do the same for « PanelY ». Once done, close Regedit and launch trueSpace. Now you should have your panel.

You can also right-click on « PanelX » and « PanelY » one at a time and select « Modify » to enter the correct hex codes listed above.

Q: How do I create my own collection of V-Ray materials?

A: Simply use the shaders to create whatever you want. Sounds easy, right? The « trick » is to understand that you must also include parameters like lighting, view angle, reflections from the scene, blur, depth of field, etc. This is why mixing materials can produce unexpected results. It also shows why experience is required and the best way to get experience is to study what others do and look « behind the scene » to learn how they did it. Tip: Get yourself a collection of samples and carefully document all parameters outside of the shaders.

:: trueSpace System Requirements

Caligari lists the following system requirements for trueSpace 7.6x:

  • Windows Vista, XP or XP Pro.
  • Pentium 3 or equivalent AMD Athlon (Pentium4 or equivalent AMD Athlon recommended).
  • 512 MB RAM (1 GB or more recommended).
  • 460 MB free hard disk space.
  • 3D video card with at least 64MB of video memory (DirectX 9c, full Pixel Shader 2.0 support, and 128MB or more video memory highly recommended).

Unfortunately, these system requirements are really very minimal and appear to have been written with Windows XP in mind—not Windows Vista which has significantly higher hardware requirements. Naturally, the computer system you require will depend in part upon what you plan to do with trueSpace. If you plan to use it lightly for simple models and you don’t need fast performance, then you may do fine with the minimal system listed above. However, most users will need a better system.

What are the trueSpace 7.6x system requirements for good performance?

Windows XP:

  • 32-bit Windows XP, XP Media Center, or XP Pro.
  • Dual-core Pentium or AMD processor.
  • 2 GB RAM (3 GB or more recommended).
  • 100 GB free hard disk space (250 GB or more for high-res animation).
  • 3D video card with 128 MB of video memory (250 MB or more recommended) and full support for DirectX 9c and Pixel Shader 2.0 (or later).

Windows Vista:

  • 32-bit Windows Vista Home Premium, Vista Ultimate.
  • Dual-core Pentium or AMD processor.
  • 3 GB RAM (4 GB recommended).
  • 100 GB free hard disk space (250 GB or more for high-res animation).
  • 3D video card with 250 MB of video memory (512 MB or more recommended) and full support for DirectX 10 and Pixel Shader 4.0.

What are the trueSpace 7.6x system requirements for best performance?

Windows XP:

  • 64-bit Windows XP Pro.
  • Quad-core Pentium or AMD processor.
  • 4 GB RAM (6 GB or more recommended).
  • 250 GB free hard disk space.
  • 3D video card with 512 MB of video memory and full support for DirectX 9c and Pixel Shader 3.0.

Windows Vista:

  • 64-bit Windows Vista Ultimate.
  • Quad-core Pentium or AMD processor.
  • 6 GB RAM (8 GB recommended).
  • 250 GB free hard disk space.
  • 3D video card with 1 GB of video memory and full support for DirectX 10 and Pixel Shader 4.0.

In my opinion, the two most important requirements are adequate main memory (RAM) and a good 3D video card with adequate video memory.

Main memory (RAM): 32-bit operating systems can address up to 4 GB of main memory and, with memory prices very low, I recommend using this amount. If you do, Windows will show only about 3.5 GB of usable memory. The rest isn’t wasted, it is used by your computer for other system functions. 64-bit operating systems can address terabytes of memory and the maximum limit of your computer will be determined by its motherboard design.

3D video card: The video card requirement depends largely on the version of Windows you use. Windows XP users will want full support for DirectX 9c and Pixel Shader 2.0 or 3.0. Windows Vista users will want full support for DirectX 10 and Pixel Shader 4.0. Windows 7 users will want full support for DirectX 11 and Pixel Shader 5.0.

Hard disk: All of the above hard disk sizes are « free space »—not the total size. Nowadays, with 1 TB hard drives costing less than US$80, there is no reason not to have a 1 TB or larger hard drive if you are comfortable installing it yourself (prices are higher if your computer vendor installs it). And since these large drives can be expensive to recover data from if they fail, I recommend doubling up and using two in a RAID-1 (mirror) array. That way you’ll have full backup in case a large drive fails. This shouldn’t replace a good backup system (to protect from software failure rather than hardware failure).

Bytes: Are you confused by KB, MB and TB? Here’s what they mean:

  • KB = kilobytes (1000 bytes).
  • MB = megabytes (1000000 bytes or 1000 kilobytes).
  • TB = terabytes (1000000000 bytes or 1000000 kilobytes or 1000 megabytes).

:: trueSpace 3D Navigation Devices

3D input devices can make the navigation of 3D space fun and easy. In order to work with trueSpace, a 3D input device needs a plugin to translate its signals into 3D commands. Without an appropriate plugin, trueSpace will think the input device is just a plain 2D mouse. Here are the 3D input devices that have trueSpace 7.6x plugins:

3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator, SpacePilot, SpaceExplorer
On 15-Jan-2009, the 3DxLabs division of 3Dconnexion released the 3DxtrueSpace plugin for trueSpace 7.6. It provides support for their SpaceNavigator, SpacePilot and SpaceExplorer input devices. 3DxLabs is the development arm of 3Dconnexion and most of the things they offer to the public are experimental. This is the case with the 3DxtrueSpace plugin and it is why you won’t see trueSpace listed in the long list of compatible programs elsewhere on the 3Dconnexion website. Whether or not 3Dconnexion ever releases a final or « official » plugin based on it will depend on the feedback they receive from the trueSpace community (there is a link to a feedback form on the 3DxLabs webpage). In the meantime, we have a plugin that we can use to test 3Dconnexion’s 3D input devices with trueSpace 7.6 and 7.61.

  • To download the 3DxtrueSpace plugin, go to the 3DxLabs webpage and click on the « 3DxtrueSpace » link.
  • To learn about the SpaceNavigator, SpacePilot and/or SpaceExplorer, go to the 3Dconnexion homepage and click on the link of the desired product.