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Muk3D User interface overview

This chapter introduces the user interface and explains the various components.

The downloadable Installation and User interface guide can be found below:

Core components of the interface are shown below.

Muk3D versionThe version of  that is currently running.
ProjectThe file path of the open project
Project explorerFiles and directories in the current project directory.
File filterFilter the files displayed in the Project explorer by file type.
Working directoryThe Working directory is the default directory where files are saved, and where Muk3D searches when running certain commands. The current Working directory can be changed by the user.
Show working buttonClick to expand and reveal Working directory
Favourites dropdownA list of commonly used or loaded files that have been assigned to ‘Favourites’.
Scene Manager (tab)Lists the loaded geometry. 
Appearance (tab)Edit the visual properties of the current layer
Current layerAll layers loaded in the 3D Window are listed in the Scene manager. The current layer is highlighted. A layer that has been amended and the changes have not yet been saved appears bold, red, and italicised.
Cursor coordinatesShows the easting & northing for the mouse position.  Z coordinate is shown if there is an opaque surface beneath the mouse.  Z coordinates don’t reflect transparent geometry.
Output window (tab)Text output from the commands is written here.
Notes (tab)Keeps directory specific notes.
Undo/Redo (tab)Lists current undo/redo status of loaded layers.
3D WindowVisualisation and manipulation of 3D data.r
Loaded geometryLoaded and visible geometry is displayed in the 3D Window.
Orientation widgetShows the orientation of the current view and the vertical exaggeration.
Scale barScale bar in the 3D Window. The length/size of the bar is automatically determined based on the window size and the size of the area being viewed.
Vertical exaggerationThe current vertical exaggeration of the 3D data.
Command historyOn the toolbar is a drop down menu showing the last 10 commands that were executed. This can also be accessed by the right-click context menu in the 3D Window.
Dynamic model properties windowLists the dynamic filters that are loaded when a dynamic model is constructed.

Showing and hiding tool windows

Right click on any of the default tool bars, the title ribbon of any window, or the menu bar at the top of the screen to access the drop down list of available windows and tool bars. Tick to show and untick to turn off.


Dockable windows

If desired, all the windows of the user interface can be relocated from their default location to another location on the screen, or onto another screen.

For example by default the Scene manager and Appearance are bundled as tabs at the bottom left of screen. If desired they can be separated into two separate windows and dragged to another location and dropped. To grab and separate a window, left lick on the title ribbon of the window and drag, or double left click to either undock or dock.


When you drag a window to either the far left or right of the screen you will see the open windows sitting at these locations adjust in size to fit the window to be dropped. When released the window will dock to the edge of screen.

Alternatively you will see the windows turn blue when you hover over them with a window being dragged. The blue highlight indicates that if released now the window being dragged will be bundled in tabs with the highlighted window. In the image shown below, the Project explorer is highlighted blue indicating that if released now, the Appearance window will dock as a tab with the Project explorer.


The Project explorer, Scene manager, Appearance window, Dynamic model properties window, and Muk3D Tutor can be viewed as separate windows or bundled together as tabs in any combination.
The Output, Undo/Redo, and Notes can also be viewed as separate windows or bundled together with each other as tabs. They cannot, however, be bundled with the other windows listed above. To access the visibility settings of these windows right click on the title ribbon of the Output, Undo/Redo, or Notes window and the drop down list will show. The Output window, though listed, is always on and cannot be turned off.


 Project explorer

The Project explorer is where we navigate and organize project directories and files, and from where we load geometry files into the 3D window.

By default the Project explorer window is located to the left of the 3D window. 

 The Project Explorer set up in the Muk3D interface is duplicated in Windows explorer. Files can be added/deleted/moved in either file explorer and will be updated real-time in the other.

Working Directory

Muk3D stores all geometry entities as individual files on disk.  By default, they will be saved into the Working directory unless specified otherwise.  If Muk3D creates files as part of a command execution, they will be saved into the Working directory.  The current working directory is something the user can set by right clicking on a directory and selecting Set as working.  The directory will then be highlighted in red and have “(Working)” written next to it. By default the Working directory is the “base” directory (folder).

Loading files from the Project explorer

The Project explorer is from where files are loaded into the 3D Window. Files are loaded by either:

  • Drag and drop – drag from the Project explorer and drop on the 3D Window
  • Double left mouse click on the file

File filter

The File filter at the top of the Project explorer is a means of only showing files of a specific type (file extension).

File filter is generally designed to be used to locate files. During normal Muk3D operation it is advised to return the File filter to All files (*.*) as many Muk3D commands create files that may not be viewable if a specific File filter is set.

Project explorer menus

Right clicking on a directory will show a pop-up menu of directory specific commands.

Set as working directorySets the selected folder to be the Working directory.
New directoryCreates a new directory as a child of the selected directory. By default the new directory created will be set as the Working Directory.
Command prompt hereOpens a Windows command prompt in the selected directory.
Explore hereOpens Windows Explorer in the selected directory.
Create PDF3DCreates a 3D PDF file containing all loadable geometry in the selected directory.
Blank scriptCreates an empty Python script file in the selected directory.
Load all Muk3D filesLoads all Muk3D datatype geometry into the 3D window.
Load all surfacesLoads all surfaces in the selected directory into the 3D window.
Load all polylinesLoads all Muk3D polyline objects in the selected directory into the 3D window.
Load all gridsLoads all Muk3D grid objects in the selected directory into the 3D window.
Load with filterUse a filter to selectively load files in the selected directory.The example above would load all files that start with dam_ and end with .msurface.
Find file in directoryLocates any files matching a user defined filter in the selected directory and any of its sub-directories.The example above would locate all files that start with “discharge” in the selected directory and its  sub-directories.  Any files that are found that match the filter will be written as links in the output window.  Clicking on the hyperlink will load the file.
Collapse sub-directoriesCollapses all expanded sub-directories of the selected directory.
DeleteDeletes a file or directory.
Make working visibleScrolls through the directory hierarchy, and expands to make the Working directory visible. Useful in large directory trees. See also Show working.
PastePaste a file or directory from the clipboard
CopyCopies the selected files/directories to the clipboard.

Right clicking on a file will show a pop-up menu of file specific commands.

Show in explorerOpens Windows Explorer to the file location.
Create PDF3DCreates a 3D PDF file of the selected file.
Export to DWGSaves the selected geometry to an AutoCAD DWG file.
OpenOpens the file using the default Windows file handler.  For example, if you double click an image file, Muk3D expects that you want to use it to texture a surface.  To open the image file using the Windows default image viewer, theOpencommand will achieve it.  Similarly for DWG & DXF files, to open them in AutoCAD or TrueView, then use theOpencommand
Add to favouritesAdd the currently selected file to favourites. Useful in large directory trees.
Copy to workingCopies the selected file to the Working directory.  If a file with the same name already exists then a prompt will appear to confirm that the file should be overwritten.
Move to workingMoves the selected file to the working directory.  If a file with the same name already exists then a prompt will appear to confirm that the file should be overwritten.
ZipSaves the selected files (multiple allowed) to a compressed file

To create a new top level directory or expand the directory tree to the Working directory right-click in the blank space of the Project explorer.

New directoryCreates a new directory as a child of the selected directory. By default the new directory created will be set as the Working Directory.
Make working visibleScrolls through the directory hierarchy, and expands to make the Working directory visible. Useful in large directory trees. See also Show working.

Show working / Favourites

Clicking on the Show working button on the bottom of the Project explorer will do the same as the ‘Make working visible’ right click menu item.
The Favourites dropdown list is a list of commonly used or loaded files that have been added to the Favourites list by right-clicking on a file and selecting ‘Add to favourites’ from the menu. The Favourites menu is useful when working with large directory trees, by providing quick and easy access to these commonly used files.

Scene manager

When a geometry file is loaded into Muk3D it appears as a layer in the Scene Manager.  Each layer has checkboxes to change its visibility and selectability status, as well as the data type of the layer.
When opening or the first time, the Scene manager window is bundled with the Appearanceat the bottom left of screen.


The checkboxes for Visible and Locked are useful when trying to isolate specific layers when selecting objects in commands.  If an object is visible and not locked, it can be selected when prompted in a command.  If a layer is made invisible or is locked it can no longer be selected.

The current layer is highlighted in a red rectangle.

If a layer is bold, red and italic, it means that it either hasn’t been saved, or has been modified since it was last saved.  Actions that cause a layer to be modified include, but aren’t limited to: moving points in the layer, changing the layer’s appearance in any way, or running a command that modified the layer in some way.

For layers that were loaded from existing files, hovering the mouse over the layer will show a tool tip with the location of the file relative to the project directory.  In the example above, the highlighted file is located in <project directory>/base/dam 1/MD_0-merged_grid.mgrid.

When a layer is created and added to the Scene Manager, it will have the data type that was assigned to it by the command that created it.  The only way to change the name of a file in is to save it with a new name.

The Scene manager also allows for some layer properties to be modified through the right-click popup menu. Multiple layers can be selected for editing by pressing ctrl+left mouse button on the required layers in the list.

SaveSaves the current layer.  Save is always ‘Save as’ and will never automatically overwrite data without either confirming the overwrite or offering the chance to change the file name.All
Zoom to layerZoom so the 3D view extents cover the selected layer.All
Point sizeFor point data, the size of points can be selected from a list menu.  This command does not show the points on a line – it only changes the size of data that is truly points. Points
Line widthWidth of the line can be selected from a list menu.Polyline
Line patternChange the line pattern by selecting a pattern from a list menu.Polyline
ReloadIf the layer was loaded from a previously saved file, it will be reloaded, returning the data to the state that it was in the last time it was saved.All
ColourSet the colour of data in the layer.  There are quick options, or a detailed colour selection dialog can be used.All
Unload thisUnloads the selected layer from the scene.  If the layer has been modified, or was not previously saved, all changes will be lost.All
Unload all but thisUnload all layers except the selected one.  Any unsaved layer modifications will be lost. Any newly created unsaved layers will be lost.All
Lock all but thisMake all layers locked except the currently selected layer.All
Unlock allUnlock all locked layers.All
Make opaqueIf the surface has been made transparent it will be reset to be opaque.Surface, Grid
Visibility/Hide all but thisHides all layers except the currently selected one.All
Visibility/Show allMake all layers visible.All
Visibility/Show Polylines onlyHides all layers that aren’t Polylines.All
Visibility/Show surfaces onlyHides all layers that aren’t surfaces.All
Visibility/Show grids onlyHides all layers that aren’t grids.All
OpacitySet the surface to be varying degrees of transparent.Surface, Grid
Edge visibility onShow the triangle edges (not the same as wireframe – the triangle faces are still rendered).Surface, Grid
Edge visibility offHides triangle edges if they were activated using Edge visibility on.Surface, Grid
Representation/WireframeShows the surface as a wireframe (triangle edges are shown, faces are not rendered).Surface, Grid
Representation/SurfaceShows the surface as rendered faces (this is the default display mode).Surface, Grid
Representation/PointsShows the surface as a point cloud (triangle vertices are shown).Surface, Grid
Shading/FlatLeast computationally taxing (faster render times than other shading types) but most faceted render results. Surface, Grid
Shading/GouradMore computationally taxing than Flat shading, but with better render  results.Surface, Grid
Shading/PhongMost computationally taxing (slowest render times) but best, most realistic render quality.Surface, Grid

The Output Window

The Output window is where all text based output from Muk3D commands are written. 

When opening or the first time, the Output window is bundled as a tab with the Undo/Redo and Notes windows at the bottom of screen below the 3D Window.


The output of some commands will be a hyperlink that will either allow data to be copied to clipboard (Click to copy: ), allow the execution of commands (Click to run command:), or allow the loading of files.  These hyperlinks will have explanatory text, and in the case of a Click to copy: link, hovering over the link will display a sample of the data that will be copied to the clipboard (as shown below).


Right-click anywhere in the Output window to show a drop down menu for copying and clearing the output in the Output window.

To copy specific text from the window it must first be highlighted (drag mouse over the text) and then right-click and Copy is made available. To select all the output currently in the Output window select Select All. Clear clears the entire Output window. Scroll to bottom scrolls the Output window to the last line of output. Copy selection to notes copies any highlighted output over to the Notes window. The Settings… menu item opens a dialogue to turn on or off output data logging (see below).


Logging all output data

To log all information written to the output window in a HTML file, right-click in the output window and select Settings… from the popup menu.  In the dialog that pops up, check the box Enable logging and hit OK. 
Any subsequent data written to the output window will be logged in the file <project_directory>\logs\output.html.

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