Reference Window (Ref)

Ref - is a standalone image viewer instance that being locked to show exclusively one particular Reference Image. You can spawn it from the Shelf by double-clicking on the Card.

Note

The main purpose of the Ref is to demonstrate the desired reference image in a most minimalistic and representable way. By default, the Ref window will be opened with controls hidden, only the tiny gray stroke will represent the edge of the Ref window. This will allow you to see all the details of the reference image and at the same time free up additional screen space for other programs you are working with. This is important because the main feature of Ref is to show you the reference image parallel to another program. You do not need to switch between the open Ref window and the current program window to see the reference image you want. You can always work continuously with the desired application, for which you need to see the reference, by just having the Ref window over it. The "Always On Top" will help you with this. It is also the default mode.

Reference Image

Reference Image - is the original image file located on your drive from which the corresponding Card and its Image Thumbnail was created. The Card contains a link to this specific file, and this exact file will then be opened for viewing in the Ref Image Viewer when you double-click on the Card.

Reference Image Basic Concept

The basic purpose of the reference image is to be a guideline example for your current work. This especially common if you are the CGI Artists. There are a lot of workflow cases when the reference images needed. For example, you draw a real object in a raster graphics editor, and you definitely need several photos of that object from different views as samples to convey and reproduce all the details as accurately as possible. Whether you are working with a 3d package or a digital sculpting tool, you always need to keep and have some real photos of the objects you are working on, right before your eyes. These kind of photos are the typical Reference Images. However, not only the photos can be treated as references, even screenshot of the email with some graphical edits and notes from your client or boss is also the Reference Image because you always refer to it to avoid missing any details when you make the specified changes to your project.

Compact Mode

Note

By default in Compact Mode the Ref window controls are hidden, they will only occur when you move the mouse pointer over the Ref window. When you move the pointer out, the controls will be smoothly hidden again.

Standard Mode

Window Opacity - changes the opacity of the entire Ref window. The default value is 100%, the minimum value is 25%. You can set the opacity value by the spinner, explicitly set the value directly into the input field or use a Alt+Mouse Wheel hotkey. To quickly reset the value to 100%, do the left-click on the "Opacity" inscription.

Card Name - the name of the corresponding Card on a Shelf.

Always On Top - "pin" the Ref window on top of all other currently opened windows. By default, this feature is turned on. You can use the T hotkey for toggling this mode as well.

Note

It is the one of the key features of the Ref window. It makes the Ref always visible over interfaces of the other programs. If you work with any application, for example, in Adobe Photoshop, you don't have to switch between Photoshop and Ref windows to simply see the Reference Image you want, again and again, even if the Photoshop is full-screen maximized. Also, there is no need to split the screen into parts to share space between the Photoshop window and the Ref window. You always can have Ref window over the another window. In case if Ref window overlaps some needed tool on Photoshop's UI, simply move the Ref window aside or close it, and use that tool. In most of the graphical applications UI's, there are "gaps" where you can safely place the Ref window(s) without overlapping any important UI elements.

Close - close the current Ref window. Also you can use the Alt+F4 hotkey.

Outline Stroke - it is the outer stroke around the Ref window that helps to spot its boundaries. Move the mouse pointer over the stroke, the pointer will change its appearance, then simply drag the stroke in the desired direction to resize the Ref window. The Outline Stroke is especially useful when the Ref window is in Compact Mode.

Pan View - moves/pan the Reference Image inside the Ref window. This feature allows you to precisely set the part of Reference Image you want to see through the Ref window. You can use the Space+LMB hotkey for the panning your references.

Note

Panning makes sense only when the Reference Image is zoomed in, that is the size of Reference Image is bigger than the size of Ref window.

Target Zoom - zooms the Reference Image inside the Ref window in and out, with respect to the mouse pointer position over the Reference Image.

Tip

For example, you have a bird image and you want to get a close-up view of its eye. Then move the mouse pointer over the eye and zoom in. The Reference Image will be zoomed not just to the image center, but rather to the eye of a bird. The most convenient way to perform targeted zooming is by using the Ctrl+Mouse Wheel hotkey.

Fit Image - zoom the Reference Image to fit it into the Ref window. The dimensions of the Ref window will be intact. If the Reference Image has a different aspect ratio than the Ref window, as follows, the Reference Image can't be fitted perfectly, then a solid gray background will be displayed to fill the blank space around the Reference Image. You can use the F hotkey for this.

Fit Window - zoom the Reference Image to fit the Ref window at first and then, if the Ref window has a different aspect ratio than the Reference Image, resize the Ref window to fit the Reference Image. This is the same feature as the Fit Image, but with additional Ref window resizing in order to avoid blank spaces around the Reference Image. After this operation, the Ref window will have the same aspect ratio as the Reference Image. You can use the Alt+F hotkey.

Ref Context Menu

Compact Mode - toggles the Ref window between Compact and Standard modes.

Always On Top - the same as Always On Top.

Transparent Background - makes the background behind the Reference Image - completely transparent. This feature is useful when you have a PNG image with transparency and allows you to see other windows through transparent parts of the Reference Image. Keep in mind that Outline Stroke stays visible in any case.

Note

This option is active only for the Reference Images in PNG format.

Fit Image - the same as Fit Image.

Fit Window - the same as Fit Window.

Copy Image - the same as "Copy Image".

Open Image - the same as "Open Image".

Show in Folder - the same as "Show in Folder".

Close - the same as Close.

Tip

Notice that on the right side of each context menu option is a tooltip with a corresponding shortcut key.

Ref Window Dragging

The Ref has a special feature - you can drag the Ref window across the screen by holding it by any part of the Reference Image with the left mouse button. To do that, move the mouse pointer over the Reference Image, and drag the Ref window whenever you want. This feature is great because you do not need to look and target at the window titlebar element each time you want to move the Ref window. This ability is especially important when the Ref is in Compact Mode in which the Ref window top bar is literally hidden.

When you drag the Ref window across the screen, its window will never go beyond the edge of the screen. In practice, this means that you can make fast and rough movements without any risk of losing the Ref window somewhere outside the screen, even partially. The position of the Ref window is strictly limited to the desktop area while you drag it like this.

Multiple Monitors Usage

If you have a multi-monitor setup where each monitor represents a separate screen/desktop, you cannot move the Ref window outside the main monitor by dragging it while holding it in the described way.

To drag Ref window between desktops you should use a conventional window dragging technique - the window titlebar dragging. If Ref window is in Compact Mode you to need to switch it to the Standard Mode in order to see and use the titlebar. Press the C hotkey on a keyboard to quick toggle between window modes.

Dragging Alternative

As an alternative to dragging, you can simply use arrow keys on your keyboard, to move the currently active Ref window in any direction. Combining arrow keys with the Shift key will speed up the Ref window movements.

Hotkeys

Alt+Mouse Wheel - change Window Opacity.

Ctrl+Mouse Wheel - Target Zoom.

Space+LMB - Pan View.

C - "Compact Mode" toggle.

T - Always On Top.

B - "Transparent Background".

F - Fit Image.

Alt+F - Fit Window.

Ctrl+C - "Copy Image".

O - "Open Image".

L - "Locate Image".

Alt+F4 - Close.

, , , - moves the Ref window up, down, left and right, respectively. Use Shift to accelerate the movement.