FWsim for Advanced Users

Keyboard Shortcuts

If you’ve been using FWsim for a while, there are several shortcuts you can learn to make the show design quicker.

The keyboard shortcuts for the main menu are listed right next to the menu items. Other shortcuts are displayed when you hover over the buttons. For example:

In the main window, you can use the left and right arrows to go forwards or backwards in time.

Graphics Hacks

By replacing files, you can change the graphics of FWsim yourself. First, you need to find the FWsim installation path. Usually, this is “c:\program files\FWsim”, or “c:\Program Files (x86)\FWsim”.

There is no risk involved - should you mess something up, you can always re-install FWsim and this will bring your files back to the original versions.

Keep in mind that any update or re-installation will overwrite your files. As a workaround, , create a copy of your resources folder; and copy the files back after every update.

Change the ground texture

  1. Find the “Resources” directory in your installation path.
  2. Make sure that your Windows Explorer is configured to show all file extensions. If you don’t know how to do this, go to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/865219 and click “Fix It”.
  3. The ground texture is ground1.dds. Rename this file to ground1.backup.dds.
  4. Find a texture you like on the internet. For best results, the texture should be quadratic and seamless. Seamless means that you can repeat the texture over and over again, and there will be no seams between them.
  5. Put your texture into the “Resources” directory, and rename it to “ground1.dds”. Note that you have to change the ending, e.g. if you file is called “grass_texture.png”, then rename it to “ground1.dds” (without .png at the end).

About the DDS format
“dds” is a special image format, which most image editing software can not handle. However, this doesn’t matter. You can just take any image format (bmp, png, jpg), and rename it to .dds. FWsim will be able to handle it.

Use your own 3D backgrounds

FWsim uses 3D backgrounds called Skyboxes. A skybox is a cube. The entire 3D world in FWsim is placed inside this cube. The six sides of the cube are painted with images, to make it look like one continuous 3D environment.

This is the default skybox in FWsim. Click to enlarge.

By replacing the file skybox1.png, you can use your own 3D backgrounds in FWsim. This file contains the six sides of the cube strung together.

It is beyond this article to explain how to create Skyboxes; however one can readily find articles on the internet explaining the process.

Keep in mind that the alignment of skybox images that FWsim requires might be different from the format that other software packages use. So you might need to use image editing software to change the order of the images for the skybox1.png.

Change the appearance of Catherine Wheels, and more

By replacing the files wheel.png and wheel_scaffold.png, you can modify how the Catherine Wheel looks like.

In the same manner, you can replace many other textures in FWsim.