Seeing clearly on your CATIA V5 screen: Check out these visual change tips!

August 26, 2019 Rand 3D

By Trisha West

If you are like me (spectacle/contact lens wearer) and have a hard time seeing things on your CATIA screen, check out my tips below on how to make a few small changes to your internal settings which can help ease eye strain.

Coloring part files/surfaces:

So this one isn’t exactly an internal setting but it is by far the most common thing I show my students. By default, in CATIA V5 all solid features show up as default grey and all surfaces show up as a yellowish/tan color. This can get a little confusing once you start putting multiple part files together in an assembly perhaps, or maybe you would like to show individual features within a part file as having a different hue to them. This can all be done quite easily with the help of the Graphic Properties tool bar and is discussed in detail in the following blog: https://blogs.rand.com/rand3d/2018/08/understanding-catia-graphic-properties.html

I would recommend not using orange at all because that is the default color that CATIA will highlight the selected items on the screen.

Background color change:

One of the most common things I’ve noticed is that designers are huge fans of color coding their part files within large assemblies which is great because we obviously want a visual cue as to when one part ends and another begins. But when they start using dark colors on a dark background, it starts to get tricky. The background color can easily be changed within the internal setting using Tools-> Options-> Display ->Visualization. I tend to stick with a lighter background most of the time. Avoid using a light green background as this is used for the mandatory invisible space background.

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Highlighting edges or entire surfaces:

By default, CATIA will highlight the item you have selected by coloring the edges of the item orange. For small items, this may still be hard to see. Within the Navigation tab of CATIA’s internal setting, there is an option that will allow your selected item’s surfaces to highlight as well, making it easier to find.

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Icon size change:

When working on a small laptop or external monitor, it may be difficult to see the physical icon due to the relative small size. This can be altered within Tools -> Customize.

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Tree text size:

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Lighting properties:

Another option I change almost immediately for my new students is the lighting properties which is located under the View Tab.

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This allows you to change the overall brightness of the model buy changing the lighting style: no light, one light, two lights, or neon lighting. You can also control overall brightness (Ambient), depth of shadows (Diffuse) and reflective intensity (Specular). Personally, I like to set the reflective intensity (Specular) to a low amount. The reason for this is that sometimes a reference point can be washed out in the reflective glare on the surface and I always want to be able to see my points from whichever camera viewpoint I am in.

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