'Lo, Doug, thanks for the kind words. Actually, there is a tutorial explaining the method, as applied to another project, an X-Wing fighter.
The basic idea is to apply an animation of four frames, Swing for example, and pause it, usually on frame 2. This freezes the shapes in mid-swing, at their maximum deflection. For Swing, you can highlight an object and specify an axis of swing and a deflection angle. Enter double the angle you want, as the object swings once in one direction,then swings back and out in the other direction, so to move something by 90 degrees, enter 180. By freezing in frame 2, you are capturing the max swing at the first side of the cycle. Frame 3 would be back to flat, and frame 4 the max swing in the opposite direction.
I've attached a short note about the sundial, which in conjunction with the X-Wing thread should give you a good idea about how animations and pausing them can extend the scope of Xara3D.