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3D graphics tips

By: Valerie Lesser

Most scenarios in STK use 3D Graphics. If you have inserted a moving object before, you’ve probably had to change some of its 3D Graphics properties. Learning about all the properties of an object can be a long process. This blog aims to shorten the learning time and provide tips for visualizing an object and changing the properties of an object or multiple objects easier. 

Changing the Color of the Orbit 

There are multiple tricks to visualize an orbit more clearly. If you right-click your object and go to 2D Graphics under Attributes, you can change the color, line style, and line width making almost any orbit easier to understand and see.  

There is also more than one way to change the color of your orbit. In the Object Model, you can click on the colored box next to your object. A color wheel will appear in which you can directly change the color of your specified object’s orbit.  

A great time saving trick is that you can change the color of many objects’ orbits at the same time. To do this left click on one object and hold the shift key while highlighting all of the objects you wish to select. Next, choose the colored box on one of the objects and change the orbit’s color to your desired selection. 

Changing Multiple Properties at Once 

Instead of changing multiple objects orbits’ colors, you can also change the properties of multiple objects. If you left click on one object and hold the shift key to highlight all of the objects you can then right click and select properties.  

You will not be able to change multiple orbits at the same time because every object would then have the same orbit. However, you can change many other 3D Graphics parameters at once for multiple objects. The parameters that can be changed for multiple objects are pass, attitude sphere, proximity, covariance, the models themselves, offsets, elevation contours, range contours, vapor trails, and radar cross sections.  

Zooming in on an Object 

Objects default to pixels when you zoom out and their size can often be too small or large. What if you would like to still see that your object is a satellite from far away? Both of these settings can be changed in 3D Graphics.  

To change the size of the pixel right click on your object and choose properties. Under 3D Graphics and Model find Marker. You can change the pixel size to something larger or smaller to either see the marker better or for the significance of the object. 


 If you would like to make the marker for the object larger or smaller this can also be done through 3D Graphics. Under Model, there is a Log Scale. This Log Scale will make the object larger or smaller but will not change the distance you can see the object from. A note of caution should be used when using a log-based scale because it will not be accurate in its size. 

The pixel and marker will disappear as you zoom further out. This can be changed on the same 3D Graphics page. On the bottom of the Model page there is a Maximum Viewing Distance. The sliders for Point, Marker, or All can be moved to either make the maximum viewing distance more or less. 

A Few Quick Graphics Tips in STK 

If you would like more information, watch as Mohammed Syed implements these tips and more in STK.

Posted: 12/23/2019 8:00:00 AM


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