2D and 3D Views

The 2D and 3D views are the center of the activities when you work with a map. They have a number of features that make working with them very comfortable and straightforward.

In order to familiarize yourself with the material in this section quickly, we recommended that you try it out and reproduce it with one of the example maps that come with Cafu. Use the File → Open… menu for loading a map from the DeathMatch/Maps directory, e.g. Kidney.cmap.

By default, the main window is divided into three views that show your map from different sides and perspectives. In the center is the 3D view, which shows the map as a perspective rendering. The two 2D views show the map from the top and from the side like an architects plan.

The view windows

The title bar and buttons of a view window. Each view is a window whose title bar indicates the type and render mode of the view. You can maximize, minimize or close each view window with the buttons in the upper right corner. In order to create a new 2D or 3D view, choose View → New 2D view or View → New 3D view from the main menu.

By clicking and dragging a windows title bar, the views can be docked, undocked and arranged as you like. Press Ctrl while dragging a window in order to keep it floating (prevent it from docking to one of the highlighted dock positions).

The active view

A view is activated when you move the mouse pointer into its window.

Keyboard input, menu commands and status bar information all refer to the most recently activated view. For example, if you want to navigate the views with the keyboard as presented below, just move the mouse pointer into the desired view window, and all keyboard input will be directed to it.

Changing the view mode

The context menu of a 3D view. The context menu of a 2D view. In order to change the mode of a 2D or 3D view, use:

  • the Tab key,
  • the Shift+Tab key,
  • or the context menu (right mouse button click).

The 2D views show the map from the top, the front or the side:

2D Top 2D Front 2D Side

The 3D views show the map in different render modes, for example “wire-frame”, “flat colored”, “edit materials” or “full materials”:

3D Wireframe 3D Flat 3D Full Materials

Note that render mode “3D Edit Mats” often looks much like “3D Full Mats”, but whereas the latter shows the materials in their “natural” appearance (as in the game engine, e.g. translucent, distorted, invisible, black, etc.), “3D Edit Mats” shows plainly textured surfaces instead. This can be very helpful for seeing the materials properly for editing purposes.


This video demonstrates the most important concepts for navigating the 2D and 3D views.

You can also download the high-quality edition: CaWE_Navigating_the_Views.mp4