There are many plug-ins in Alias using  OpenAlias. Many of the old plug-ins related to polygons have become obsolete. The following are some of the plug-ins and their brief description.


"bestFitPlane" is a tool to create a best-fit construction plane to a curve or a set of curves.

Usage: To create a best-fit plane, select the desired curves to fit, and click the bestFitPlane tool. The construction plane will be created.

Installed under the Curve Edit palette.


"cleanupCurveOnSurface" is a tool to clean up Curves on Surfaces that are not
involved with trim operations.

Usage: To clean Curves on Surfaces from specific surfaces, select the desired surfaces. Open the cleanupCurveOnSurface option box, choose "Picked Items" and click "Go". To clean all Curves on Surfaces, verify the option box has "All Items" selected and click "Go.

Installed under the Curve Edit palette.

"cleanupModel" is a tool to clean up the geometry to match with the
conditions used CAD systems. It does the following things:

  1. Convert every Studio FACE geometry to a trimmed surface geometry.
  2. Check the connectivity of every surface and every region in a shell.If there is any break, then the surface or shell will be split at the break(s) into more than one surfaces.
  3. For every surface or shell region, if the basis surface is closed,  e.g. a cylinder, split the surface or the shell region into two non-closed regions.
  4. Make sure every geometry dagnode and every region has a persistent ID. If one has not had a persistent ID, the tool will create one for it.
This plug-in converts groups of faces to trimmed surfaces that you can manipulate without worrying about planarity.  It's particularly handy for converting all the faces that are created with text, or the faces left over after a bevel.

You may either:
Pick the faces you want to convert. Then select "Faces to surfaces" from the Surface Edit palette.
or, if you have nothing picked:
Select "Faces to surfaces" from the Surface Edit palette. Then pick the faces to convert one by one.
A prompt box will ask you if you want to keep the original faces.  If you select "Yes", the new surfaces will be made siblings of the face nodes; if you select "No", the new surfaces should appear in the DAG precisely where the face nodes were, and the node names will remain unchanged.
If you select a group node, all faces contained in the group will be converted.  (When selecting objects within the tool,  you'll need to open the SBD to be able to select group nodes.)
You can select this tool immediately after laying down text, or immediately after performing a bevel.  The newly-created trimmed surfaces will be left picked.

This plug-in is used for automatically projecting a curve onto a surface, and then trimming.  Note that a project normal is done if the perspective window is active.  Otherwise a project is done if the Front, Right or Top modelling windows are active.   

  1. Select the curve to project.
  2. Select the surface to project on that will be trimmed.
  3. Select the uv region on the surface that will either be kept of discarded by the trim operation.
Note that multiple UV positions to keep or discard can be used.
This plug-in installs on the Surface Edit -> Trim palette.
Select the perspective modeling window in order to create a "view" vector. The "view" vector is created between the the camera eye position and the camera look at point.  The view vector has unit length.
This vector is useful for referring back to the view that was set at the time the vector was created.
Installed under Construction palette.

Only works in the perspective window.
Construction planes are ignored.

Selects degree one curves and converts them to section data. The curves may be selected before or while the tool is in use. Only degree one curves are selected. Pressing the Go button will convert the selected curves into section data. The curves are converted in place; no copies are made.

Installed under the Curve Edit palette in the Modify tab.
This plug-in is used for extracting the regions of a trimmed surface into into seperate trim surface objects.

This plug-in installs on the Surface Edit -> Trim palette.
This plug-in is loaded by default.
Select all the cuves that you want to intersect with each other. The curves may be selected while in the command. Pressing the Go button will intersect each pair of nurb curves in the
selection. Other types of selections are ignored. Each non periodic curve will be detached at the intersection points and each segment put into it's own dag node.

Installed under the Curve Edit palette in the Cut tab.

This plug-in creates COS on intersecting surfaces in one go.
Usage: Select all the surfaces that you want to intersect with each other. The picked items may be selected while in the command. Pressing the Go button will intersect each pair of nurb surfaces in the selection. Other types of selections are ignored.
The option box controls the creation of construction history.

Installed under the Surface Edit palette in the Create CurvesOnSurface tab.

This plug-in will select all of the multispan surfaces in your scene. The implementation of this plugin is very simple since it basically goes through each surface and checks for multispans and then selects the object (even if it is in a invisible layer or has visibility turned off.).

In order for it to work reliably you need to:
  1. pick > nothing
  2. pick > object or pick > component.
  3. click on pickMultiSpanSurfaces icon in pick palette.
The object pick lister in the control panel will display the names of
each surface.

  1. Some tools such as trim or skin will clear the pick list when they are invoked.  If you have one of these tools selected and invoke pickMultiSpanSurfaces, the pick list will flash on and then off.  The flash on will be the pickMultiSpanSurfaces running and the flash off will be skin deselecting the pick list. This is why Step 2. above is required.
  2. pickMultiSpanSurfaces ignores visibility for now.
This plug-in is used for reducing a trimmed surface's underlying nurbs geometry so that it boxes the trim boundary.

This plug-in installs on the Surface Edit -> Trim palette.
This plugin makes objects that are visible invisible, and vice versa.

Installed under ObjectDisplay menu.

  • Camera: Ignores cameras.
  • Light: Ignores lights.
  • Texture Nodes: Ignores texture nodes.
  • Construction Entities: Ignores construction entities.

This plugin allows you to translate selected DAGs, CVs, or polyset vertices in the perspective window parallel to the current camera view.  This plugin supports translation of multiple objects so you can move multiple objects at the same time.  You can also select without using the pick
tool.  There is one level of undo/redo provided that you don't switch out of view move..

  • By default viewMoveObject lets you pick CVs/vertices.  Just click on any CV/vertex and drag it in the perspective window.
  • To move an object (DAG node) instead of CVs/vertices, hold down the Alt key and drag on an object.
  • To pick more objects to move, hold down the Shift key and click on the object/CV/vertex you want to select.
  • To unpick everything, hold down the Shift key and click on nothing.
  • To undo/redo, hold down the Control key and click.
  • Drag with the middle mouse button constrains movement to horizontal only.
  • Drag with the right mouse button constrains movement to vertical only.
You can also select multiple objects using the regular pick tool, then select viewMoveObject to move them in the perspective window.

Default Pick CV:Sets the default selection to pick CV.  Un-checking this will make viewMoveObject pick objects by default, and Alt-click will pick CVs/vertices instead.

Can't move more than 8192 objects/CVs/vertices at a time.
Can't select an object using Shift-click if some CVs of the object are already selected.


This plug-in exports the coordinates of selected curves to a text file. Coordinates are sampled relative to the x, y, or z axis, or relative to the parameter. Note that when sampling along an axis, the bounding box of a curve is used to determine its range. As a result, the range is
usually larger than the curve. Samples can be taken in one of two ways; by subdivision or arc length. When using subdivision, the range of the curve on the relative axis is equally divided by the number of subdivisions requested. When using arc length, sampling starts at the low end of the curve and proceeds in equal step sizes towards the high end.

Sampling for degree one curves and section data is enabled by default. If disabled, only the points that compose the curve will be written regardless of the sampling parameters used.

Installed under File->Export.
This plugin takes the contents of individual layers and writes them to seperate wire files. The names of the files are the stage name concatenated with the layer name. The user is prompted for the location where the files should be written i.e. the directory.
All layers are saved by default.The choice to save selected layers only, or to not save invisible layers, is available in the option box.

Installed under Layers menu.
Assign DiagShadeColor.
This plug-in assigns the shader color to the diagnostic shader.
Installed under ObjectEdit
This plug-in will use information given to in to determine the location of the sun and generate a directional light to simulate it.  By activating the option box, the settings can be changed in two ways.  If the Time/Location option is chosen, the sun's position will be calculated based on the month, day, hour, minute, and the latitude specified.  In the Altitude/Azimuth selection, the altitude of the sun (in degrees from the ground), and the azimuth (the altitude of the sun at its maximum point during the day).
Installs Into: Menu -> Animation -> Sun Shine  ("ap_animwinds")

Please add your comments and feedback.