Get started with Hologram
Now available on Mac totally free.
Throughout this section you will explore the Scene tab of Hologram, the place where everything starts. Designed specifically for fast and intuitive 3D work, you will soon discover how it is possible for you to dream up an idea and create a 3D environment in Scene before going to the Code tab to add all the magic and turn your vision into (virtual) reality.
Hologram's Scene interface will probably look familiar to you. Picture Photoshop meets the Sims, a list of items called entities on the side and a 3D view in the center. If you have use tools such as Unity, Cinema 4D, Blender you already know everything about it. Like other 3D tools you might already have use, Hologram offers similar tools, we just made them even more easier to use and add a friendly feel.
Alright first off, the blank screen with the grids is called the Viewport. It is where you are about to explore ideas by inserting 3D items also called entities.
At the top left edge is the scene controls. There are 5 buttons to discover. The first one is the Move tool - it allows you to move the position of a selected entity directly from the viewport. The second is the Rotation tool to rotate a selected entity. The third, the Scale tool, to scale a selected entity from the viewport. The forth one Walk&Play (the coolest) allows you to edit your scene at the first person like a Minecraft. And finally the last one is the Grid toggle, to show or hide the guide in the viewport.
Easy right? To recap, click on an item displayed in the viewport to select it and use the Move, Rotation and Scale tool to change its position, rotation and scale. Choose Walk&Play if you want to have fun.
Finally, Hologram supports assets drag and drop directly on the viewport. For instance, dropping an .png file on the viewport will import the file and then automatically insert an image in the scene. Same thing apply for video and audio files.
The building blocks of Hologram are called Entities, in fact all the elements that makes your scene are entities: Boxes, Spheres, Images, 3D Models - all entities. Moreover, they all have a hierarchy, meaning entities can go inside other entities for instance a sphere can be placed inside an box and will therefore have a position relative to his parent: the box.
You can insert new entities by clicking Add, from the hierarchy tree or directly by right clicking on the viewport.
To use 3D entities created in the Scene tab in the Code tab you have to enable what is called targeting. You should probably only target the entities you need in order to keep your document tidy and coding even easier.
To enable targeting click the target icon on the right of an entity in the item list. Enabling targeting on an entity will automatically generate a code name based on the current entity name. Note that the code name is formatted to be easily readable by the Hologram code editor. You can view the code name by overing on the target icon.
In the Code tab, targetable entities will have an active target icon next to their name.
We will now take a look at the hierarchy tree on side. It holds all of your scene entities. It operates on the basis of linking entities together in parent-child relationships. The hierarchy of the entities in relationship to one another is reflected in the item list. Child entities will be nested under parent entities. This allows for much cleaner workflow as you can for instance group many entities inside an empty one that will act as a group.
One important thing to understand is the concept of relationship. For example, placing a Sphere inside of a Box makes the Box the parent of the Sphere. The Sphere then becomes the child of the parent, along with any other entities placed within the Box. Once this parent-child relationship has been established, child entities will always mimic the behavior of its parent entity. If you move, rotate, or rescale or the parent entity, the children will follow suit. This can be very useful when it comes to organizing your 3D environment.
Feel free to rearrange hierarchy when ever you want by dragging and reordering your entities in the items panel. You can even right click and "Group" multiple entities together.
Under the items list you will find the properties panel. It becomes active whenever an entity is being selected. You can then adjust the different properties of the entity, from position, rotation and scale and to color, opacity and more depending on the type of entity.
By default, any newly created entity will have a position of x: 0, y: 0, z:0. For instance, if you create two Boxes they will both be inside each other and you will only see you. That is because by default, they both have the same position and size. You can move them from each other by changing their position.
As you might have noticed, Text and other some other entities do not have a width and height properties (font size in the case of Text). That is because you do not need it in 3D. To make things bigger or smaller, simply adjust the scale property up or down depending on your need.
In this section we cover all of the additional tools available to you in the Scene tab. You can access this set of features by right clicking on your entities in the item list.
Use this to quickly reorder hierarchy. Selecting an entity and clicking forward will move the entity higher up in the item list, while backward will move it down. When you move an entity back and forward, its child entity will move with it.
Selecting an entity and right-clicking "duplicate" will copy and paste it onto the scene, along with all the properties and child entities it contains.
Selecting an entity and right-clicking "delete" will immediately remove it, along with all the child entities it contains.
Entities are positioned using 3 coordinates - x, y and z - x for its horizontal position on the scene, y for vertical and z for depth.
By default all entities are positioned at 0,0,0 which is also the very center of the scene.
Simple. Scale it waaaaaaaaaay down! A lot of 3D models are not at scale. They are usually really big compared to the rest of the scene. That is okay! Select the model and scale it down in the properties panel or with the scale tool directly in the viewport.