The 4 editing windows display the map you are building from 4 different viewing directions: top, back, side and an arbitrary 3D angle. By default, these 4 views are focused on a common point in space. You can scroll a window by right clicking into it and dragging, and zoom with the mouse wheel or by holding the [Shift] key and dragging with the right mouse button. When you move the view in one window, WED updates the other views relative to the new focus point in space. You can "lock" and "unlock" the views of the 4 windows by Lock Views.
The engine uses a right handed coordinate system for its maps. To understand this system better, imagine an everyday road map. The positive X axis is like the direction east, and points to the right side in the top view window. The positive Y axis is like the direction north, and points up in the top view window. Then simply think of the Z axis as the measurement of height in our maps. The positive Z axis comes out of the top view window and points toward us. The back window provides the view toward the north direction, and the side window provides the view toward the west direction.
The grid system of the windows divides the coordinate grid not in multiples of 10, as you would expect, but in multiples of 8 by default (adjustable in Preferences). This way you can easier create objects that have exactly the same size as your textures, which normally are a power of 2 in size (like 64x64, 128x128, or 256x256). Using the default grid and texture scaling, a 128x128 pixel texture for instance would perfectly cover each face of a 128 units cube without tiling. The size of a small grid box, and the number of small boxes per large grid box, is indicated in the title bar.
This is simply a camera view that 'orbits' around the editing focal point in space. The 3D window can be rendered in wireframe, solid fill polygons or textured preview styles. This can be changed by the View / Render menu commands. In Preferences you can choose between a software renderer (GXL_BASE) and a DirectX renderer for the 2D and 3D views. The software renderer is for 'emergeny use' only and only supports basic editing functions. If the DirectX renderer is selected, you can control the rendering parameters by right clicking into the window and selecting GXL Properties. Here you can adjust the influence of the Sun, Ambient, and Lights on the rendering in the 3D window (see below).
You can reset the views of the editing windows back to the origin with the menu command View / Home. The editing views have a display depth range. Portions of a map will not display beyond a certain distance in the views. It is helpful when building large levels because it reduces the number of objects shown on the screen. You can adjust the distance value in GXL Properties or by using the menu commands View / Decrease View Depth and View / Increase View Depth. To further unclutter the editing windows while building a level, you can turn off the display of entities in the map. You do this by disabling the Show Entities option in the preferences window.
For adjustment of lighting and parameters for the DirectX renderer. Selectable on right click in the 3D window.
Level Lighting - Enables lighting by Sun, Ambient, and Lights of the level.
Level Sun / Ambient / Lights - Individual influence Sun, Ambient, and Lights.
Default Sun / Ambient - Adds a default sun light and ambient value for brightening the 3D view. Set sliders to zero for a realistic preview.
View Depth - Controls the clipping off of objects from a certain distance on. Also controllable by [Num+] and [Num-].
FOV - Controls the zoom factor. Also controllable by the mouse wheel.
Advanced lighting - Fine tuning of DirectX parameters.► latest version online