SYMMICTM Users Manual
Version 3.1.6
(TM) Trademark 2008 CapeSym, Inc.

CapeSym Table of Contents

Adjusting Views

The view of the template can be changed by selecting one of the views from the View menu or by rotating, panning, or zooming the view with the mouse or keyboard. Using the mouse is discussed later.

When a template is opened it is displayed in the isometric view. The isometric view corresponds to starting with the top view (no rotation) and then applying an incremental rotation of 45 degrees about the x-axis, followed by an incremental rotation of 45 degrees about the y-axis. The same rotation can be performed by selecting the Isometric view command from the View menu, or using the Alt-V-I key sequence, as shown in the following table.

Quick View Commands

View Menu Item

Keyboard Shortcut

Incremental Rotations in Degrees




Top view

Alt V T




Bottom view

Alt V B




Front view

Alt V F




Back view

Alt V A




Right view

Alt V R




Left view

Alt V L




Isometric view

Alt V I




When one of the quick view commands is used, the model is returned to the center of the window. The Bring to center command from the View menu recenters the device in the middle of the window without altering the current rotation. This command is particularly useful when a major geometrical change or slice has been applied to the model, since it also resets the axes of rotation at the center of the new geometry. If a device is sliced in the x- or y-directions, the rotational axis will be centered on the remaining piece of the device. The Bring to center command can be accessed by the keyboard sequence Alt-V-C or by pressing Ctrl+B at the same time.

Rotate View

The Rotate view... command opens the Rotate View dialog, as shown below. This dialog allows any sequence of X, Y, or Z rotational angles to be applied to the current view of the model. Incremental rotations are applied in X-Y-Z order: around the x-axis first, around the y-axis next, and finally twisting around the z-axis. So an isometric view can be obtained by starting from a top view and selecting Vertical rotation around X-axis: Increment by: 45 and Horizontal rotation around Y-axis: Increment by: 45 and In-plane rotation around Z-axis: No Z rotation.

In addition to rotating incrementally, the Rotate View dialog allows for setting the absolute angles by selecting and entering a value into the To angle: box. When this option is chosen, the current absolute angle is estimated and removed by the view transformation. Then the desired angle is applied. Absolute angles are also applied in X-Y-Z order. Since turning the model to view one of its sides is commonly desired, quick access to 0, 90, -90, and 180 degree angles are available as separate buttons. These are equivalent to using the To angle: edit box with values of 0, 90, -90, and 180 degrees. For example, to return to a top view without changing the translation or magnification, select Vertical rotation around X-axis: To angle: 0, Horizontal rotation around Y-axis: To angle: 0, and In-plane rotation around Z-axis: To angle: 0. Or, just select the three 0 angle radiobuttons.

The Rotate View dialog can be used to start or stop a spin animation. Start a spin by entering small angle increments and then checking the Enable X spin, Enable Y spin, and/or Enable Z spin checkboxes in the Spin control section. The Spin Time sets the number of milliseconds to wait between applications of the incremental angles. The smoothness of the spin animation will vary based on the incremental angles, Spin Time, the size of the model, and the quality of the graphics hardware available.

Template Wireframe

The wireframe outlines the edges of components in a distinct color, such as black. A template is normally displayed without a visible wireframe, but it can be made visible by setting the wireframe width using the Settings > Template wireframe... menu item.

Template with wireframe

Template without wireframe

Change the wireframe edge width and color by selecting Template wireframe... from the Settings menu. The wireframe can be eliminated by setting the wireframe width to zero. By checking the box next to “Auto adjust width to zoom”, the width is automatically resized whenever the display magnification is changed.

Check the box next to “Outline feature blocks” to make the wireframe outline all of the features in the model. The features are internally-defined regions where the layers, materials, mesh, or design parameters are different. These blocks correspond to the X, Y features as defined in the device template XML, the statusbar text, and the Device Template Editor.

Wireframe outlining all of the x-y feature blocks in FET.xml.

Tip: When working with models so large that the update of graphical information is very slow, disable the wireframe by setting the wireframe width to zero in the Template Wireframe dialog. The wireframe overlay can be the most computationally expensive part of the graphical display.

Aspect Ratio

If angles appear distorted when the template is rotated, as shown in the following figure, the aspect ratio may need to be corrected by entering the physical dimensions of the display into the Aspect ratio... dialog. If the display is a computer monitor, measure the dimensions of the screen using a ruler (e.g. in inches or cm) for best results.

Square displayed with incorrect (left) and correct (right) aspect ratios.

Only Outline Model

When the Only outline model option is checked, a greatly simplified graphical representation of the model is used instead of a surface rendering. The simplified model displays the edges of a bounding box containing all instances of each named component on each layer. For layouts with large numbers of devices, this simplification can save a lot of graphics memory. The option should be selected before the layout is loaded to prevent the consumption of graphics memory for surface rendering.

In addition, when the option is checked there will be no labeling of visible faces to determine which surfaces of the model are visible. Labeling of visible faces is used to efficiently render the wireframe as well as surfaces. Thus, a wireframe can be drawn when the Only outline model option is checked only when the model was previously displayed with the option turned off such that visible faces are already correctly labeled.

About Tranparency

Components within a device can be made transparent by selecting the Hide option in the context menu on the Components list. (See the section on Device Components for details.) It is also possible to hide all the components in an entire layout by selecting Hide from the context menu of the Materials list. Transparency is a property of the model not of a solution. Part of a solution mesh can be removed from graphical display only by slicing, not by transparency.

When a component is transparent it is usually completely absent from the display. A transparent component will have no visible surface rendering, nor will it be outlined by the wireframe or by the Only outline model option. However, turning on the Stipple transparent will display a shadow of a hidden component when surface rendering is enabled.

GPU colormapping

The GPU colormapping option selects whether the graphical processing unit (GPU) implements the colormap of the temperature by using OpenGL textures. The default is for this option to be turned on (checked) because texture-based color mapping generally gives better results than linear color interpolation when a non-linear colormap is being displayed. In addition, GPU colormapping allows colormap changes to be done faster, without recompiling the scene geometry in OpenGL.

If GPU colormapping is turned off (unchecked) from the start, then the software has detected that the GPU does not support texture-based color mapping and linear color interpolation is used instead. Since it may not be possible to always detect whether texture mapping is fully supported by the graphics display adapter, the user has the option of turning this feature off. If the displayed colormap does not appear to correctly match the temperature scale, try turning GPU colormapping off to see if there is any improvement.

Window Location

A few additional options for adjusting graphical display in the SYMMIC window are available from the Settings > Window Display submenu. For example, the main window can be set to particular size and location using the Window location... dialog.

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