Mid Night Modeller
Copyright 1994-95 by David Taylor
Chris Fulton/David Taylor
Table of Contents:
0.5 - README FIRST
1.0 - GETTING STARTED
1.1 - INTRODUCTION
1.2 - FEATURES
1.3 - MNM.ZIP FILE LIST
1.4 - SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
1.5 - INSTALLING
1.6 - THE MNM.INI FILE
1.7 - WHERE TO GET HELP
1.8 - REGISTERING
2.0 - A TUTOR
2.1 - CREATING OBJECTS
2.1.1 - SPHERES
2.1.2 - TORUSES
2.1.3 - POINTLIGHTS
2.2 - MODIFYING OBJECTS
2.2.1 - SELECTING OBJECTS
2.2.2 - THE LAYERS
2.2.3 - THE EDITING COMMANDS
2.3 - ASSIGNING TEXTURES
2.3.1 - THE TEXTURES DIALOG
2.3.2 - THE GENERAL DIALOG
2.4 - POV-Ray OPTIONS
2.4.1 - OPTIONS
2.4.2 - RENDERING
3.0 - THE INTERFACE
3.1 - POPUP MENU
3.2 - SIDE MENU
3.3 - DIALOG BOXES
3.4 - DATA BAR
3.5 - COMMAND AREA
3.6 - THE VIEWPORT
3.6.1 - THE DRAWING PLANE
3.6.2 - DRAWING AIDS
3.6.3 - INTERACTING WITH THE MOUSE
3.7 - USING THE KEYBOARD
3.7.1 - COMMANDS
3.7.2 - STRINGS
3.7.3 - NUMBERS
3.7.4 - KEYWORDS
3.7.5 - POINTS
3.7.6 - FUNCTION KEYS
3.7.7 - HOT KEYS
4.0 - COMMAND LIST (ordered from the mainmenu)
4.1 - FILE
4.1.1 - New
4.1.2 - Open
4.1.3 - Save
4.1.4 - Save As
4.1.5 - Merge
4.1.6 - Import DXF
4.1.7 - Import RAW
4.1.8 - Export DXF
4.1.9 - Export RAW
4.1.10 - Exit
4.2 - MODIFY
4.2.1 - Erase
4.2.2 - Copy
4.2.3 - Move
4.2.4 - Scale
4.2.5 - Rotate
4.2.6 - Mirror
4.2.7 - Array
4.2.8 - PArray
4.2.9 - Explode
4.2.10 - Gravity
4.2.11 - Thicken
4.2.12 - Join
4.2.13 - Change
4.2.14 - Assign
4.2.15 - ObjectEdit
4.2.16 - General
4.3 - CREATE
4.3.1 - Polyline
4.3.2 - PCube
4.3.3 - Pyramid
4.3.4 - Wedge
4.3.5 - Triangle
4.3.6 - Face
4.3.7 - Mesh
4.3.8 - Beziers
4.3.9 - Stair case
4.3.10 - Thread
4.3.11 - Spring
4.3.12 - Arc
4.3.13 - Circle
4.3.14 - Complex3D
4.4 - DISPLAY
4.4.1 - Redraw
4.4.2 - Redraw All
4.4.3 - ZoomIn
4.4.4 - ZoomPrev
4.4.5 - ZoomAll
4.4.6 - Pan
4.4.7 - Top
4.4.8 - Bottom
4.4.9 - Back
4.4.10 - Front
4.4.11 - Left
4.4.12 - Right
4.4.13 - WORLD
4.4.14 - V3D
4.4.15 - Viewports
4.5 - OPTIONS
4.5.1 - Set Layer
4.5.2 - Variables
4.5.3 - Clear Scene
4.5.4 - DOS prompt
4.5.5 - About
4.5.6 - Camera Dlg
4.5.7 - Camera Set
4.5.8 - Spotlight
4.5.9 - Pointlight
4.5.10 - Arealight
4.6 - ASSIST
4.6.1 - END Point
4.6.2 - MID Point
4.6.3 - PREV Point
4.6.4 - X.
4.6.5 - Y.
4.6.6 - Z.
4.6.7 - XY.
4.6.8 - XZ.
4.6.9 - YZ.
4.6.10 - Area
4.6.11 - Elevation
4.6.12 - VPoint
4.7 - PRIM'S
4.7.1 - Sphere
4.7.2 - Torus
4.7.3 - Cone
4.7.4 - Cylinder
4.7.5 - Disc
4.7.6 - Cube
4.7.7 - Plane
4.7.8 - HeightField
4.7.9 - Transforms
4.8 - RENDER
4.8.1 - Render
4.8.2 - Textures
4.8.3 - Options
4.8.4 - FOG
4.8.5 - Paths
4.8.6 - Export POV
4.8.7 - Export CML
4.8.8 - Quick Shade
APPENDIX A - TROUBLE SHOOTING
APPENDIX B - COMMON QUESTIONS and ANSWERS
APPENDIX C - KNOWN BUGS
APPENDIX D - LEGAL
APPENDIX E - FINAL NOTES
0.5 - README FIRST
This doc was written with the DOS EDIT program with a TAB stops
setting of 8. It would be a good idea to read the document with
DOS EDIT, or an editor which allows for FIXED fonts, and user
definable TAB stops, so that the diagram's are seen as they were
ment to be.
This document assumes that you are some what fimilar with
POV-Ray and that you have at least looked over the POV-Ray documents.
It's advised that if you haven't yet read any of the POV-Ray docs,
to do so NOW before getting into the complex operations of MNM. For
understanding POV-Ray, you can understand MNM a little better. Also,
problems and things that relates more to POV-Ray should be in the
POV-Ray docs, and in lots of cases are NOT found in the MNM
documentaion, for this document is to explain MNM and not POV-Ray.
Terms used in this Document:
"Wireframe" - A series of lines representing an objects
"Primitive object" - An object which can't be morphed into anything
other than its original shape. Example: you
Can't take a single wireframe point from a
Sphere and move it anywhere you like.
"BASE point" - A poiont in which a line is drawn from.
"DRAG" - The process of moving lines, and objects from
one point to another via the Mouse.
"Vector" - A Point value representing a directional axis.
"Segment(s)" - A single or multiple points that are connected
"Command" - Functions MNM can execute.
"Click" - Pressing the Left mouse button, unless noted
to use the right mouse button.
"Center Point" - The point from which an object gets drawn from.
"Keyword" - A letter representing a whole word. Example:
"T" as in "Texture"
"MNM" - This program.
"POV-Ray" - The "Persistence of Vision" ray-tracer program.
"ACAD" - AutoDesk's AutoCAD drawing package.
"Main Directory" - Where the program files for MNM are located.
"Texture" - A material description for what an objects
surface will look like.
"Face" - A surface with four corners. Like the side of
"Selected Objects" - Objects drawn in dotted lines.
1.0 - GETTING STARTED
This section describes Mid Night Modeller, it's features, how to
install and run it. Before attempting to run MNM, Please read
this section carefully as it explains what you need to know. In
other words, don't complain if you haven't read the instructions 🙂
1.1 - INTRODUCTION
Mid Night Modeller is a Graphical User Interface tool to help
you design photo-realistic images on your computer with the help
of POV-Ray. POV-Ray is a program that does "Ray-Tracing" which
uses mathematical formulas to create photo-realistic images.
The POV-Ray program is all command-line, ie. there's no interface.
The information about a scene (or drawing) must be written in a
text file for parsing, usually with the extension ".POV". POV-Ray
then begins to ray-trace the scene (assuming there's no syntax
errors in the pov file), and outputs a 24bit image file. Even
though it's not a GUI program, your given the option of seeing the
image as it's being ray-traced. Unfortunately, while you write a
scene (a pov file), you have to visualize it in your head what
it's going to look like when you finally ray-trace it. This is
where POV-Ray Modelers come in.
MNM (Mid Night Modeller) creates the pov files for you, so you
don't have to worry about the pov language. And it does this
graphically! MNM uses a style similar to AutoCAD(tm) from AutoDesk.
You create objects in your scene by selecting, pointing and
clicking. The objects are then redrawn as wireframe models. Unlike
AutoCAD, MNM exports your drawing to POV when your ready to see
a realistic view of what you've just drawn, and calls POV with the
command-line parameters you've chosen. POV takes control, and
renders your scene. After POV is done, MNM is reloaded with the
current file so you can make adjustments quickly.
1.2 - FEATURES
MNM is one of the most powerful modelers for POV-Ray to date, if
not the most powerful shareware program available. MNM features
very complex surface creation commands, and Drawing Aids only found
in high end CAD programs costing $1,000+. This program has lots to
offer for the novice CAD person, to the experienced POV ray-tracer.
To be more specific, here's a list of some main features of MNM:
- Super VGA support with 256 colors
- A Customizable Interface - Menus, Hot-Keys, Interface colors,
fonts, mouse cursor and sensitivity, startup scenes and
- Support for Primitive objects - Sphere, Cone, Torus, Cube/Box,
Plane, Disc, HeightField and Cylinder.
- Complex objects - PolyMesh, Polyline, Extrude/Revolution and Cone
SWEEPs, Coons Patch, Ruled Surface, Continuous Bezier Patches,
Face, Triangle, Smooth Triangle, Wedge, Pyramid, Splines and PCube.
- Higher level objects - Screw thread, Stair case, Spring/Spiral,
Pipe, Circle and Arc.
- Support for Area Lights, Spot Lights, Point Lights and a Camera.
- Multiple Viewports
- Export and Import RAW and DXF files.
- Interactive Panning and Zooming of the 2D Planes, and Interactive
Camera Placement in 3D views, all via SHIFT keys.
- Object Shading previews.
- Layers allows you to hide, apply CSG's, textures, Colors (for
visual reference) to objects and more...
- SNAP, GRID, AXIS, BLIPS, ORTHO and other drawing aids such as
Point filters, ENDpoint and MIDpoints for setting exact points.
- MIRROR, ARRAY, JOIN, MOVE, COPY, ERASE, GRAVITY, ASSIGN, PARRAY
(polyline arraying), TRANSFORM, THICKEN (for polylines), ROTATE,
SCALE, EXPLODE and other editing commands for manipulating objects.
- A FULL Texture Editor which supports every Pigment, Normal, and
Finish statement options (accept Filters for image_maps), and also
supports Layered and Tiled textures.
- Supports every POV command-line option with Palette, Display modes,
Background and FOG options as well.
- RENDERING: MNM runs POV for you with all the correct command line
options, when renedering is complete, MNM is reloaded with your
- DOS Shell
- ZoomIN-ALL-PREVIOUS, Pan, RedrawAll, Front, Back, Top,
Bottom, Left, Right, World and 3D views.
- Plenty of Variables for customizing MNM for your own needs.
- and much more...
1.3 - INSTALL.DAT FILE LISTINGS
The INSTALL.DAT file contains the program files for MNM in an
uncompressed format. When you run the install program, the files
get extracted from install.dat into the directories you specified
during the setup process. You shouldn't have to copy the files into
other directories (since, install does this for you) unless you want
to. Here's the file listings for MNM, their discriptions and where
they should be located.
LOGO.GIF - Gif file for the logo.mnm scene
MNM.EXE - The MNM program file
MNM.DOC - This Document
MNM.INI - MNM's configuration file
32RTM.EXE - The DPMI 32-Bit Run Time Manager
DPMI32VM.OVL - Overlay file for 32RTM.EXE
WINDPMI.386 - Device driver for Windows
MW_ATIUP.EXE - TSR for the ATIGUP video driver
METWND07.DLL - 256 color driver
METWMD08.DLL - Vidoe accelerator driver
BGIVGA.DLL - Standard VGA driver
BGI32.DLL - 32-bit graphics library
SYSPRP16.FNT - Stroked Font
BGIN__01.FNT - Bitmapped Font
MNM.MNM - Start up scene file
TUB.MNM - Shows an example of the Coons Patch.
SHADE.MNM - Example of Colors and its ready to SHADE.
LOGO.MNM - Just a simple example scene.
MAIN.MNU - Main menu data file
SIDE.MNU - Side menu data file
COLORS.DAT - Color definitions for the texture editor
COMMAND.DAT - Defines Commands and controls Hot-Keys
INCLUDE.DAT - External Include file definitions
TEXTURES.DAT - External texture definitions
TEXTURES.WRK - Created by the texture editor. Contains the
textures your created in MNM.
ABOUT.DLG BROWSER.DLG CAMERA.DLG CCOLOR.DLG
COLORMAP.DLG COMPLEX.DLG DIRS.DLG DISPLAY.DLG
EDITLGHT.DLG FINISH.DLG FOG.DLG GENERAL.DLG
LAYER.DLG LAYERS.DLG MAKETEXT.DLG NORMAL.DLG
OPTIONS.DLG PALETTE.DLG PIGMENT.DLG SELECT.DLG
TEXTURE.DLG TRANS.DLG VARIABLE.DLG VIEWPORT.DLG
Shape files...(for dialogs)
CONE.SHP EDGE.SHP REV.SHP RUL.SHP
TAB.SHP VIEW01.SHP VIEW02.SHP VIEW03.SHP
VIEW04.SHP VIEW05.SHP VIEW06.SHP VIEW07.SHP
1.4 SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS
Before installing MNM version 2.0A, please review the minimum
Intel 386 or higher CPU
DOS 4.1 or later
4 MB of RAM
8 MB hard disk space
Microsoft compatible mouse
Intel 486DX or higher
DOS 6.2 or later
8 MB of RAM
16 MB hard disk space
Microsoft compatible mouse
SVGA card and monitor
POV-Ray 2.0 or greater
Related POV-Ray utilities
NOTE: The amount of hard disk space you should have relates
to the amount of system memory (RAM) you have on board. This
is so you can save all of your large scenes that fit into
MNM. Multiply the amount of RAM you have by two, this is how
much hard disk space you should have.
Do not install MNM 2.0A files over previous versions of
MNM. The older files won't work for this new version.
I'm very sorry about this, but this includes the MNM BETA
version 2.0 work files also! Delete all instances of older
versions to minimize any possible problems with running
the new program.
Installing MNM 2.0A on your hard disk:
A) Insert your MNM 2.0A disk into your floppy drive.
B) At the DOS prompt, enter "A:INSTALL" (or "B:INSTALL").
C) Proceed to defining the directories for MNM. If you have
made a mistake, use the Esc key to back track to the
mistake and redefine the directories. INSTALL will then
extract the program files from the INSTALL.DAT file, and
places them to the directories you requested.
Make sure that your FILES statement in your CONFIG.SYS
file is set to at least 30. This is so that MNM can open
many files at the same time. Example:
Also, add the MNM main directory to your PATH statments in
the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. This is so you can run MNM from any
directory on any disk, without having to change your
directory to MNM before loading. Example:
- Where %PATH% are previously defined directories.
If you plan on running MNM under Window 3.1, you MUST install
the WINDPMI.386 device driver. This file provides uncommitted
memory support and some floating-point support. To set this up,
Your SYSTEM.INI file (located in your Windows system directory)
should look like this:
If you installed WINDPMI.386 into a different location, the
path to WINDPMI.386 would be written differently. The path
should be where MNM is located.
If you have downloaded MNM.ZIP from a BBS, it may be a good idea
to erase the INSTALL.DAT file AFTER installing, if your running
low on hard disk space. The install.dat file contains the MNM
program files in an UNcompressed format.
You may get some warnings about some directories not being valid.
If this is the case, open the MNM.INI file and replace the
directories to match your system. The directories you'll need to
edit will probibly be the OUT_DIR, SCENE_DIR and/or the LIB_DIR
That's all there is to it! If your having hardware errors or other
problems, please read section "1.4 - system requirements" for the
hardware/software requirements, Appendixs A, B and C, and/or section
"1.7 - where to get help" if you need to contact me.
1.6 - THE MNM.INI FILE
When MNM first loads, it opens the file named MNM.INI. This file
helps initialize MNM to your system, and preferences. MNM reads
the keywords with it's assotiated parameters. The parameters are
located inside the "()" tokens, and are seporated by cammas.
KEYWORD ( para1, para2, para3, ...etc )
Comments are discriptions you can add in the file and begin with a
double frontslash "//". The comment lasts to the end of the line
(the newline charactor). The below example gets parsed as just
"FONT ("SYSPRP16.FNT") ".
// This is a comment and takes up the entire line.
FONT ("SYSPRP16.FNT") // Another comment.
Now, below are the available KEYWORDs reconized by MNM and their
meaning. A more detailed explanation can be found by opening the
file and reading the comments.
MNM_DIR - Where MNM.EXE file resides.
WORK_DIR - For *.MNM files.
SUPPORT_DIR - DLG, SHP, DAT, WRK and MNU files.
SCENE_DIR - Where *.POV files gets exported to.
OUT_DIR - Where POV-Ray stores the final rendered image.
POV_DIR - Where POV-Ray executables are found.
LIB_DIR - Where your *.INC files are found.
POV_EXE - Name of the POV-Ray executable file.
MAINMENU - Name of your Main menu file.
SIDEMENU - Name of your Side menu file.
FONT - Name of *.FNT font file to use.