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Fritz12 – Playing with light and shadow

The 3D boards in Fritz12 provide several user tools for customizing the appearance of the display. One of the more basic of these is the ability to change the lighting and shadow properties of the chessboard.

First we’ll need to fire up Fritz12 and select “Play Fritz” from the splash screen. When we get to the main chessboard screen, we can select the “Board” menu to pull down the corresponding ribbon. Then we can click on the “3D Board” button to see our various boards displayed:

Fritz12 offers several 3D board choices

Note that you may have other choices available depending on which ChessBase-produced chessplaying programs you own.

We can load a 3D board just by clicking on a picture in this display.

After we’ve loaded a 3D board, we can access lighting choices for the board we’ve selected. To get to these choices, move the mouse cursor to the lower lefthand corner of the screen. We see two buttons on the lower toolbar – “Settings” and “Screenshot”:

The "Settings" button is available at the lower lefthand corner of the Fritz12 screen

Click on the “Settings” button. We see a new dialogue appear; in it, the lefthand panel is divided into two parts. One provides general settings and information. Below it, we’ll see another section containing choices specific to the 3D chessboard we’ve chosen; the header of this section will be the name of the selected 3D board style:

This dialogue allows you to tweak the shadow and lighting settings in Fritz12

I selected the “Silver” 3D board for this article’s illustrations, so we see the word “Silver” in the lefthand pane; under “Silver” are listed three dialogues which we can access. To change the shadow and lighting effects, we click on the word “Render options” and we’ll see the dialogue pictured above.

With this dialogue we can change the style of shadowing (even selecting “No shadow” to remove them entirely). With the “Silver” board we can see the most dramatic changes by using the lower slider, labeled “Ambient light”. Sliding the button toward the left decreases the amount of light on the board, while sliding it toward the right increases it. We can also change the background color and the color of the coordinates surrounding the board.

Other 3D board choices have similar selectors in their dialogues. Feel free to play with these; if you don’t like a change you’ve made, you can always click on the 3d board’s name in the lefthand pane to display a “Defaults” button, which returns the board’s appearance to “factory” settings.

Learn more about Fritz12 and other chess software at ChessCentral – the leader in cutting-edge chess.

Have fun! — Steve

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