Imagine Mailing List Frequently Asked Questions

Compiled by:

Converted to HTML by: Ian Smith
You can get a copy of the FAQ 8 in various formats here.

This is the Frequently Asked Questions posting for the Imagine Mailing list. This posting is sent every so often to answer general questions that users of the 3D rendering software, Imagine by Impulse Inc. may have. It is aimed toward all users, especially newcomers to the program.

If you find any errors or have answers to other frequently asked questions that you would like to have included in this posting, please send e-mail to: (FAQ List).

- Gabriele S.


  1. What is new in version 8 of the FAQ

SECTION 1 - Support Products/Sites

  1. Imagine related References/Help Books/Magazines/ftp sites,BBSes, Models/Textures (pics) materials, HTML home pages.
  2. How do I reach Impulse?
  3. What is the Imagine Mailing List and how to get it?

SECTION 2 - Modeling and Detail Editor

  1. How do I brushmap a ground plane?
  2. How do I make glass?
  3. The Slice command doesn't work or gives me errors.
  4. How can I make a room so that the walls don't have cracks?
  5. When I select a group of points in the DETAIL editor, all I can do is drag them...not ROTATE or SCALE interactively.
  6. List of common Index of Refractions
  7. How do you make mirrors?
  8. How do I make "metals" and what are some good gold attributes?
  9. Is there a quick way to add faces to my object without using the Slice command?
  10. How do I make "wireframe" objects?
  11. How can I create seashells?
  12. May I use more than four textures in Imagine v2.0?
  13. How do I make realistic clouds?
  14. How do I create visible light beams?
  15. How can I simulate underwater ambient?
  16. Does anyone have suggestions for emulating soft shadows?
  17. Can I create 2d/3d smoke effects? How?
  18. How Bones works (by Lesk and Mark Decker)?
  19. Halo around light sources.
  20. Can a reflective object inside a glass tube render properly?
  21. Help with Slice function, By J. Goldman.
  22. Fog object and global fog: undersea fog spotlight.
  23. Disco ball effect: how simulate some sort of radiosity.
  24. How can I create a candle flame?
  25. What are the differences between Spin and Sweep functions?
  26. Modeling strategies: modeling hands, feet, etc...
  27. How can I create neon lights?
  28. How can I get a checkered plane with checks of different textures?
  29. How can I simulate the effect of a bright light reflecting off thousands of tiny particles suspended in air?
  30. I still have questions about the bones feature, let's say I had a "can" object of coke and I want to make it dance.
  31. Constrain, freeze, release: inverse kinematics.
  32. Inverse kinematics: getting started, By Randy R. Wall.

SECTION 3 - Forms Editor

  1. After a Forms Editor object is loaded into the Detail Editor and manipulated, it won't reload into the Forms Editor.

SECTION 4 - Cycle Editor

  1. I made this animation sequence in the Cycle editor, but when I set it up in the stage/action editors, the motion of the overall object isn't there!

SECTION 5 - Spline Editor

  1. I tried to import a Postscript font but I got a "Vector not found" error. What does this mean?

SECTION 6 - Animation, Stage Editor and Action Editor

  1. Even though I move an Object/Camera/Light to a new POSITION/ALIGNMENT/SIZE in the STAGE editor, Imagine seems to 'forget' what I did!
  2. How do I use the Grow Effect?
  3. How do I use the Tumble Effect?
  4. How do you get something to roll (at the right speed!) while following a path?
  5. When I move a Tracked Camera in the STAGE editor, it doesn't realign and draw the Perspective view correctly!
  6. When I increase the number of frames in an animation I find my scene gets mangled in the first frame. Why?
  7. How do I use the Sway Effect?
  8. Depth of field.

SECTION 7 - Rendering and the Project Editor

  1. Why do objects render fine in Scanline, but disappear in Trace?
  2. I have a problem with Filtered objects/fog and the Global Backdrop!
  3. My animation frames look fine, but when animated, they have the "crawly" effect.
  4. What situations, parameters, attribute values, etc. require the most trace rendering time?
  5. How do I get rid of the "Jaggies?"
  6. How can I figure out pixel aspect for a given resolution?
  7. When making a disco ball effect, will a SPHERICAL light set at 255 be bright enough to cause visible spots on the surfaces in a scene?
  8. How long should it take to do a full trace picture with perhaps one transparent glass on a Amiga 3000/25? Is 4.5 hrs too much?
  9. Is there any particular format that Imagine prefers? Ham? 32 Color? EHB? 24 bit 1000 x 1000?
  10. I would like to use conical light sources with my rendering, is there anyway "see"in wireframe where the light will fall?
  11. How important is lighting for a rendering, and is there any "preset" method used to get good results?
  12. Help with Fog, How do I use it and how does it work?
  13. How can I render in Widescreen/Letterbox format?
  14. I selected Spheres for my particle object, but all I get is a polygonal shape!
  15. Help with Fog: if you place a fog object inside another, they cancel out, why?
  16. The config file says something about "oct-tree level". What EXACTLY is this about?

SECTION 8 - Essence Settings and Other Attributes

  1. Electrical Arc (Essence)
  2. Veined Marble (Essence)
  3. Rough marble/rock (Essence)
  4. Soap Bubble (Imagine 2.0 and higher)
  5. Spaceship Panels (Imagine 2.9 and higher)
  6. Bark, mountain, stone effects (Imagine 2.9 and higher)
  7. Solar corona (Essence)
  8. Solar corona (Imagine 2.9 and higher)
  9. Sludge (Imagine 2.9 and higher)
  10. Marble (Imagine 2.0 and higher)
  11. Starfield (Imagine 2.9 and higher)
  12. Photon Torpedo (Imagine 2.9 and higher)
  13. Spaceship shield (Imagine 2.9 and higher)
  14. Spaceship shield (Imagine 2.9 and higher)
  15. All purpose ground cover (Imagine 2.9 and higher)
  16. Steam engine, shafts of light (Imagine 2.9 and higher)
  17. Fun with Fuzz texture (Imagine 2.9 and higher)
  18. Water (Imagine 2.0 and higher)
  19. Castle brick (Essence)
  20. Cloth (Essence)
  21. Fabric (Imagine v2.9 and higher)

SECTION 9 - Miscellaneous

  1. What the heck is BTW, IMO and other weird abbreviations...
  2. Rendering and refresh times are MUCH too slow, even with an accelerator. Are there any Basic tricks or hints to help?
  3. How long will before my renderings aren't ugly anymore?
  4. Hex edit for Imagine - High Res video mode change Amiga only
  5. What are Particles?
  6. Everything about motion blur, By Mark Allan Fox
  7. 3D stereograms, By Gary Beeton
  8. Working with bitmaps, By Douglas Smith
  9. What are N.U.R.B.S?


  1. Closing statements and Disclaimer

Last Update: Aug 21, 1995
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