Viewports are windows to the three-dimensional scene that you work in. OVITO provides four viewports, laid out in a two by two grid, which simultaneously show the same scene from different angles. The caption in the upper left corner of each viewport and the axis tripod in the lower left corner indicate the orientation of the virtual camera associated with a viewport.

Navigation functions

Use the mouse within a viewport to move the virtual camera around:

  • Left-click and drag to rotate the camera around the current orbit center, which, by default, is located in the center of the simulation box.

  • Right-click and drag to move the camera parallel to the projection plane. You can also use the middle mouse button for this.

  • Use the mouse wheel to zoom in and out.

  • Double-click on some object visible in the viewport to set a new orbit center. From now on, the camera will rotate around that position, which is marked by a three-dimensional cross.

  • Double-click in an empty region of a viewport to reset the orbit center to the center of the active object (typically the simulation box).

By default, the z-axis is considered the "up" (vertical) direction, and OVITO ensures that it always points upward when you rotate or move the camera. Depending on your simulation setup this might not be the best choice. You can set the x or y axes to be the vertical axis in the application settings dialog.

Viewport toolbar

The viewport toolbar is located below the viewports and contains buttons to activate various navigation input modes. In addition, you will find two other useful functions here:

The Zoom Scene Extents function automatically adjusts the zoom level and repositions the camera of the active viewport such that the complete scene becomes fully visible. The currently active viewport is marked by a yellow border.

The Maximize Active Viewport button enlarges the active viewport to fill the entire main window. Clicking the button a second time restores the original 2x2 viewport layout.

Viewport menu

Clicking the caption label in the upper left corner of a viewport, e.g. Perspective, Top, etc., opens the viewport menu as shown in the screenshot.

Use the View Type sub-menu to select one of the standard view orientations or switch between parallel (orthogonal) and perspective projection types. The Adjust View function gives you precise control over the numeric position and orientation of the viewport camera.

The Preview Mode option activates a virtual frame inside the viewport to indicate the area that will be visible in rendered pictures. The aspect ratio of this frame reflects the output image size currently set in the Render settings panel. With preview mode active, the viewport contents including the background and any overlays will be rendered like in the final output image.

Use the Create Camera function to insert a camera object into the three-dimensional scene. This object will be linked to the viewport, and moving the camera object around automatically updates the viewport accordingly. This gives you the possibility to animate the camera.