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Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 9:43 am
Hi, I am a Stella newbie so please forgive me if this question is easy! I notice that the two side by side windows containing the polyhedron and its net seem to randomly blank out to white. Also, when looking at a print preview of the net, the main screen returns leaving the print preview in the two side by side windows. Clicking around a few times usually gets me back to normal but I wondered whether this was a feature or a problem? Thanks for any help.
Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:50 am
Hi, feel free to post easy questions
The behaviour you describe doesn't happen for me. Sounds like it's not always redrawing when it should.
When do the windows go white? Can you pin that down at all?
What kind of machine do you have? Laptop or desktop, how old, and what version of Windows? And what graphics card, if you know?
Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:06 am
Hi Robert, thanks for your prompt reply. I suspected it would be a problem and not a feature! My computer is a desktop, home-built and now a few years old (4?). I am running Windows 7 Home Premium. The processor is a Intel i5-3570 CPU @ 3.40 GHz. I have 8gb of memory installed and the graphics card is a NVIDIA GeForce GT 730. I run 2 displays off this card. Don't know whether any of this info will be helpful but I don't really want to start getting new hardware. I was tempted to download the demo version of Great Stella and see whether it had the same problems. What do you think? Hope to hear from you soon and thanks again.
Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:08 am
Sorry - should have mentioned that the white areas seem to appear quite randomly - I am not performing any keypresses or mouse clicks when it occurs.
Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:59 am
Hmm, all of your machine specs look like they should be fine. I'm on Windows 10, so maybe that would help, but I really can't say.
So it goes white when you're not even touching anything? That's really weird. Is it when something is rotating or changing continuously on the screen, or when nothings moving at all? In the former case, I'd expect the constant redrawing would ensure that it couldn't go white for more than a frame. In the latter case it isn't normally redrawing at all, but what would prompt it to go white?
Could it be some other software that is popping a window up that goes away again straight away or something? When it goes white, does the whole screen flash for a moment, ie outside the window as well? And does the UI (toolbars, menus etc) go white, or just the rendering areas (3D and 2D views)?
Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:24 am
Hi Robert. I have been experimenting with the problem and have the following observations:-
After starting the program and leaving the default icosahedron and its net on the screen the windows turn white after a minute or two.
'Undo' will bring the images back again (albeit with an error message as there is nothing to undo).
Replacing the icosahedron with another polyhedron makes no difference. After a minute or two (these times are pretty random) the windows turn white again.
Once they have turned white they will not revert back to the images - I left them alone for several minutes.
If I invoke a print preview of the net and then close and go back to the dual image screen, the windows display the print preview of the net instead of turning white.
Again, 'undo' will get me back to a normal display.
The whole screen does not flash when the windows change to white, the polyhedron images simply disappear.
The user interface remains intact during all of these changes. It is simply the windows showing the 3D polyhedron and its 2D net which change.
It seems that it must be something to do with my configuration on this PC. I assume no-one else has reported similar problems? I can live with this I suppose but its not ideal. As long as I can print out nets and construct models then I can put up with it. If the information I have given you helps in any way then please let me know. I am as puzzled as you are. Obviously I have not rigorously tested Small Stella as I have only downloaded it recently but I will try out as many of the menu options as I can and see whether there are any more anomalies. Is it worth me downloading the demo version of Great Stella to check if it behaves in the same way?
Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 1:30 pm
I suspect all versions would behave the same way, so I wouldn't bother downloading the other demos.
I don't think Stella is doing anything after waiting a minute or two. That's weird. "Undo" probably causes a redraw which fixes the problem. Presumably if you click and drag in either window it redraws that window correctly too?
I have one suggestion. See this item in the FAQ: http://www.software3d.com/FAQ.php#glIssue
It's not quite the same problem, but it does involve white windows. Try the suggestion there (where to find the setting may differ) and see if it helps.
Posted: Fri Jan 13, 2017 3:45 pm
Thanks for that link, Robert, it set me on the right track. I had a feeling it was something to do with the NVidia graphics card and my having multiple display units. After a bit of searching around in the NVidia setup area I discovered that it was possible to change settings for individual programs. I have never bothered with this before and just left everything to run using the global settings and 'multiple device performance mode' was set as recommended for multiple displays. I changed the setting for smallstella.exe to 'single display performance mode' and, touch wood, that seems to have solved the problem. Useful info if you get any other users with the same problem.
Posted: Sat Jan 14, 2017 6:57 am
Awesome, thanks for letting us know.
Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:24 pm
Hi Robert, a bit of disappointing news. Whilst there has been a great improvement in the stability of the Stella windows, the problem does still occur. I have noticed it since upgrading to Great Stella. It is interesting to note that, if I have been looking at a print preview, then this is the view I get when the model windows blank. A simple mouse movement in either of the windows stimulates the redraw so it is not a huge problem. I guess it must still be graphics card oriented or maybe even the dual display support. I may try disconnecting the second display to see if that makes any difference. Anyway, thought I'd let you know so you don't raise false hopes with anyone else who experiences the same problem.
Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:19 pm
Last time you changed the settings for SmallStella.exe specifically. Did you remember to make the same change to GreatStella.exe after upgrading to that? It's a different EXE in a different folder.
Posted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:20 am
Yes, I remembered to do the specific change but thanks anyway.
Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:39 am
Hi Robert, it is looking like I have more problems than the simple screen redraw workaround. I thought I would have a look at making the final stellation of the icosahedron and checked your notes on it. I then tried to measure the dodecahedral edge of the net using measurement mode. I seemed to select one of the edges OK but the 'Measured Distance' under 'Scale' was grayed out. I tried selecting every edge in turn around the five sided centre and got a different value every time in the lower left hand corner of the screen. Also, how do I deselect an edge, surface etc.? The Esc key does nothing and if I select another icon the selection is still highlighted. Maybe I am doing something wrong but the program seems pretty intuitive. By the way, I tried switching to a single display but it made no difference. On the positive side I have constructed a dodecadodecahedron using the program and am very pleased with it! Hope you can help or point me in the right direction.
Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 12:54 pm
I don't think Measurement Mode is supported in the net view (you're just selecting an edge, but not measuring a distance). Just measure the same thing in the base or stellation views. Don't select the edge though. Select the vertex at one end (Shift+Left-click) and then the vertex at the other end (again Shift+Left-click).
Starting by selecting an edge would mean you want to measure the distance from that edge to something else.
You can deselect something by selecting on the background, or "Selection->Select None", or the keyboard shortcut "n".
Posted: Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:14 pm
Thanks for all that stuff, Robert. I obviously just need more practice and, I guess, some extensive manual reading! Just loaded Great Stella on my wife's desktop (networked with mine) and Stella behaves fine. Her desktop also has a dual monitor configuration so the puzzle continues. Thanks again for being so patient and helpful.