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AutoCAD® 2012 FOR DUMMIES® by David Byrnes

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Navigating the 3D Waters

If you're brand new to 3D in AutoCAD, you may be wondering how to look at whatever it is you're modeling from whatever angle you desire.

One way to change viewpoints that works in both AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT is to use the preset views from the Ribbon by selecting the View tab, then clicking the down arrow on the 3D Preset Views drop-down menu on the Views panel (shown in Figure 21-5) to switch to one of the standard orthographic 3D views or an isometric view.

  • The six standard orthographic (straight-on) views are Top, Bottom, Left, Right, Front, Back.
  • The four standard isometric views are SW (left-front), SE (right-front), NE (right-back), and NW (left-back). (An isometric view is one in which you see the object from above — or below, but AutoCAD's standard views don't do below.)

image An isometric view is an unrealistic 3D view since all lines that are parallel in reality are also parallel in the view. In a perspective view, lines that are parallel in reality appear to meet at a vanishing point, as parallel lines appear to do in reality (think of railroad tracks heading across the prairie). The isometric views I mentioned previously are parallel projection views, and you can view 3D models using those views in either the full version of AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT.

Figure 21-5: 3D Preset Views drop-down menu.

This warning is for AutoCAD LT users (users of the ...

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