3D Graphics Performance Comparison – Part 15 (CoCreate)

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Paul Hamilton of PTC sent me the following LISP program which sets up CoCreate with optimal graphics settings.

The is what the LISP program does.

  • Show settings are set to Shaded, Edged, Hidden Suppressed, and Part Reflectivity.
  • Dynamic Viewing is set to Use Show Properties.
  • Simplify Model (boxing) turned off.
  • Enhanced Realism (real-time rendering) turned off.
  • Default facet resolution set to “Medium”. Note that this setting only applies to new geometry that is being created, or to imported non-native parts. Facet resolution is saved with the part in a native file.

For these settings the display quality is quite good.

Click image for larger view

Here is a video of me navigating around the model in CoCreate Modeling 17.

As you can see, CoCreate is on par with the best in the industry. Here is the original video.

There is one thing about CoCreate’s 3D navigation that I don’t like. Maybe this is more of a personal preference, but when orbiting around a model, I don’t like the way CoCreate automatically sets the center/axis of rotation to be the location where I clicked the mouse first before I started dragging it. Take a look at the second video above to see what I mean. When you orbit around a model using the mouse, you click drag from left to right, up to down or vice versa. When CoCreate automatically sets the center/axis of rotation to the first mouse click the model gets swung out of view and you need to orient yourself properly over and over again.

I guess if CoCreate is the only CAD system you use then you will get used to this and will learn how to navigate properly. Maybe this kind of a behavior is actually better for some things. But you use different CAD systems like me, you may find it somewhat irritating. I have seen other CAD systems change the center/axis or rotation for you. But for that to happen you need to pick a face or an edge to orbit around. If you click in empty space the CAD system understands that you are inspecting the entire model and wish to orbit around it, not swing it all around the place like CoCreate does. I tried look for an option to change this behavior but could not find it among the myriad of CoCreate options. If you happen to know such an option, please leave a comment. This is really starting to get to me.

In my initial comparison I mentioned that CoCreate had messed up the STEP import, as can be seen in the second video above. Paul asked me to add this line to the LISP file to adjust the geometry accuracy to better suit my STEP file.

step_import : DISPLAY-OPTIONS :check-part :no :customer-accu :UP-ACCURACY 1.0E-2 :undisplay-options cancel

The irony is that the STEP file was created by Pro/ENGINEER. Maybe PTC should adjust the default tolerances of its data exchange modules so that at least its own products can exchange data properly.


John van Doorn tweeted the following LISP statement which makes CoCreate orbit around the view center instead of where the mouse was clicked.

(elan-ui::set_vp_rotate_center :toggle-mode)

Apparently, for some reason that is beyond the limits of my comprehension, this option is not available in any of CoCreate’s settings dialog boxes. John tweeted:

it is hidden by default: goto tools->customize groups view, and drag the button “toggle rotate view center” to a location.

Crazy! But frankly, I’m not surprised. It’s PTC after all. I think they get a kick out of making users do things the hard way. 😉


I’ll take that last line back. Although there is no option in CoCreate’s settings dialog boxes to set the rotation center, an anonymous reader left a comment to say that setting it up is quite easy. Right click in the viewport and expand “Rotate Center” from the context menu. There are five options to choose from, one of them being “Viewport Center”. The good thing is that this setting sticks and there is no need to do this every time you create or open a model.

Part 16 >>