ActiveShade Commands (Quad Menu)

When you right-click an ActiveShade window, the lower-left quadrant of the quad menu displays a set of commands for ActiveShade.


Render quadrant (upper right)

These are general-purpose commands.

Show Last Rendering

Displays the last rendering in a Rendered Frame Window. Not available if no rendering has been made during this session.

Render Setup

Displays the Render Setup dialog. When you use the ActiveShade quad menu, Render Setup is set to render the ActiveShade window initially.

Render Last

Repeats the last render, using the last viewport from which you rendered.

Material/Map Browser

Opens a modeless Material/Map Browser dialog.

Material Editor

opens the Material Editor.

Tools quadrant (lower right)

These are the commands that perform ActiveShade operations.

Draw Region

When on, lets you draw a rectangular region of the ActiveShade window. While it is active, only the region is updated by interactive reshading. This can save time, and also help you concentrate on just a portion of the image to be rendered. Default=off.

To turn off Draw Region, click outside the rectangular region. The entire ActiveShade window is updatable again.


Initializes the ActiveShade window. To keep the ActiveShade window current, you need to choose Initialize after transforming, modifying, or otherwise changing geometry. If you have turned off Automatic Reinitialization, you also need to choose Initialize after you update a mapped material.

Rendering can be slow. The initialize pass is meant to take care of the most time-consuming portions of rendering, to allow the update pass to take place as quickly as possible. Initialization includes the following steps:

  • Evaluate the scene geometry into meshes.
  • Apply space warps.
  • Do transformations and clipping.
  • Evaluate textures and shade materials.
  • Perform optimizations to speed later processing, such as merging fragments from the same surface that are in the same pixel.

The result of initialization is a buffer. This is a compressed rendering that, like a G-Buffer, contains the rendering plus additional information used by the second step, updating.

During the initialize pass, progress is indicated by a row of pixels (white by default) that traverses the top edge of the ActiveShade window.


Updates the ActiveShade window. Updating shading takes the buffer created by the first pass, initialization, and uses information in that buffer to change the color of pixels when you make changes to lights and materials in the scene.

During the update pass, progress is indicated by a row of pixels (white by default) that descends the right edge of the ActiveShade window.

To keep the ActiveShade window current, you need to choose Update Shading if you have previously turned off Automatic Shading Update.

Select Object

(viewports only) When on, you can select an object in the ActiveShade window by clicking. You can select only one object at a time.

When an objects is selected in the ActiveShade window, the Initialize pass resamples textures for that object alone. This improves the window's rendering speed, and is useful when you are adjusting texture display.

Toggle Toolbar

(viewports only) Toggles display of the ActiveShade window toolbar in viewports.

Keyboard shortcut: Spacebar

Note The Keyboard Shortcut Override toggle must be on for the spacebar to toggle the ActiveShade toolbar.

Options quadrant (lower left)

These commands control how the ActiveShade window behaves.

Act Only On Mouse Up

When on, changes you make to light and material parameters (for example, the RGB or Multiplier spinners) update the ActiveShade window only after you release the mouse. When off, changes to these parameters are updated immediately, as you drag the mouse. Default=on.

Turning off Act Only On Mouse Up can make the ActiveShade window more responsive to changes, but it can also slow performance.

Auto Initialization

When on, changes you make to textures (mapped materials) automatically cause the ActiveShade window to initialize. Default=on.

Initialization can be time consuming in complex scenes. To save time, you can turn off Automatic Reinitialization, or use Draw Region to restrict initialization and shading updates to only a portion of the scene.

Auto Update

When on, changes you make to lighting, and materials without maps, automatically cause an update of the ActiveReshade window. Default=on.

View quadrant (upper left)


Closes the ActiveShade window. If the ActiveShade window was docked in a viewport, the viewport reverts to the view it previously displayed.