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What is a Viewport?

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The MODO interface is made up from a collection of frames called Viewports. A viewport is just an empty container whose contents is determined by the options of the viewport 'Widget' (covered fully on the 'Layout Controls' page of this documentation). Selecting the '3D Model View' option changes a viewport to a 3D openGL view with its own functions and settings, but it is still just a viewport. From the Widget, users can subsequently select other options, such as 'Shader Tree', and the 3D view will now become a Shader Tree viewport, which is the identical size as the previous 3D view. This is because users control the sizes of viewports by clicking and dragging on their edges (the small dividers between the frames). Viewports are dynamic and react to the size of the frame they exist in. They will even change how users interact with the contents to accommodate specific window sizes, illustrated here.

Dynamic View A   Dynamice View B   Cynamic View C 
The same 'Shader Tree' viewport dynamically changes to accommodate different frame sizes allowing access on smaller screens.

There are several different viewport types MODO uses, 'Forms' are the most common. Forms are generalized containers that can be either a button, a toolbox, or a menu. The content of these viewports can be modified via the 'Form Editor'. The next most common are the GL viewports, which display 3D content (named as such because they use the prominent open source graphic library named OpenGL) These viewports cannot be modified outside of the customization option available within the viewport itself (and the 'Preferences' settings). Other viewport categories include 'Data Lists' which contain lists of information regarding various MODO items; these include the 'Item List' and the 'Shader Tree'. Users will interact with the various items in these views, but associated attributes for specific items are viewed in another frame called a 'Property' viewport. Property views are available for various functions including Items, Render Settings and Tool Properties.
Viewports don't have to exist within the frame of the interface itself either, MODO provides both 'Window' and 'Palette' viewports that float above the standard interface. These windows work in the same fashion as normal embedded frames, but their visibility can be toggled on and off via the "`" accent key (same as the ~ tilde key). The only difference between a Window and Palette is that the windows retain the operating systems controls to individually move and minimize the viewports.
Viewports can be visualized like children's blocks, they can be stacked and arranged any way the user sees fit, but better than blocks, they can also be scaled, divided and removed providing the most adaptable and customizable interface of any 3D application.



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