3ds Max: Editable Splines Tutorials
3ds Max: Editable Splines Tutorials. Post the splines creation, 3ds Max also allows you to edit them. This is done by changing their parameters. However, the parameters for splines are less; this limits its editing features. Thus, to exercise the same, you can convert them to Editable Spline or apply Edit Spline modifier. Doing either enables a host of editing features.
The splines, which can be edited at sub-object level, are called Editable Splines, where you can edit the sub-object components of a spline. These include vertex, segment, and spline.
To convert a shape into Editable Spline, right-click the shape and from the Quad menu, select Convert to and then click the Convert to Editable Spline option.
Editable Spline has five rollouts as seen in above figure. They are as follows:
- Soft Selection
- Selection Rollout
The Selection rollout allows you to specify either one of the Vertex, Segment, or Spline sub-object levels for editing. Once you set the editing level, you can further select sub-objects of that level in the viewport. The selection rollout enhances selection with the Area selection option. Using this option, you can specify a radius centered on a selected point. You can also select any sub-object within that radius with a single click.
#The tools that are enabled depend on the sub-object level that is in effect.
- Soft Selection Rollout
The Soft Selection tools are utilized for transforming the object at the sub-object level. Soft Selection helps in defining a region of influence. Sub-objects lying within this region are soft selected. The applied transformations affect the soft selected sub objects to a certain extent, but not as much as those explicitly selected. For example if you move a selected vertex at a distance of 5 units, the soft selected vertex might only move 2.5 units. Refer the below image.
- Geometry Rollout
The Geometry Rollout is a cumulation of a large set of sub-object tools. The tools available in this rollout also depend on the sub-object level chosen. The Geometry rollout also provides option for editing the sub-objects.
The sub-object levels are: Vertex level, Segment level, and Spline level.
You have to select vertex sub-object to make changes in the vertex of spline. When the vertex is selected you can transform it using Transform buttons on the Main toolbar. You can also change its type.
3ds Max provides four vertex types such as:
- Bezire Corner
#Bezier and Bezier Corner have green colored handles on either side of the vertex. Dragging these handles away from the vertex alters the curvature of the segment.
Below image displays the different vertex types.
Following are the vertex level options in the Geometry rollout:
- Create Line: This button enables you to create new lines as part of the currently selected shape.
- Break: This button breaks the selected vertex and the spline into two simple parts at that particular point.
- Attach: This button enables you to attach another spline in the scene to the selected spline.
- Attach Multi: This button allows you to attach multiple splines at once.
# The Attach and Attach Multi buttons are available in all the three sub-object levels.
- Cross section: This button creates splines out of cross sectional shapes. Splines are created by joining the first shape with the Second.
- Refine : This button refines a spline to increase the detail levels, by simply adding more vertices to the spline. On Selecting the Refine button, start clicking points on the spline. The cursor Changes when it is over a spline. This indicates that you can Refine the line at that particular point.
#For each click, a new vertex is added to the spline.
There are five options that you can use in alignment with Refine:
- Connect : When this option is selected, while creating the vertices, 3ds Max will connect vertices.
# You will not be able to view the new splines until you right-click to exit the command. Once Connect is enabled, the other four options become available. They are not available unless Connect is active.
- Linear: Using this option, the new line segments created are liner using Connect.
- Closed : Using this option, the first and last vertices are connected to create a closed shape.
- Bind First/Last: Using these two check boxes, you can bind the first or last vertex that you select. A bound vertex is locked to the central point of the segment that you select. Thus, it does not refine the shape of the spline. Bound vertices appear as black boxes in the system.
- Connect: On activating this button, you can connect the two spline segments by clicking the end point of one spline segment and drag to the end point of another. This command will adjust the location of the first vertex, and shift it as per the requirement to establish a connection.
- Fuse: Using this command you can pick selected set of vertices, place the vertices on top of one another to an averaged center and thereby create a single vertex. To do so, select the vertices and then click the Fuse
- Cycle: Using this button enables you to cycle through the vertices in a spline. In some cases, splines may have a lot of vertices in a very small area or almost overlapping vertices, thereby moving from one vertex to the next in the spline.
- Make First: Using this command, you are able to replace the selected vertex and bring it to the first vertex in the spline.
- Cross Insert: This command enables you cross the two splines by placing a vertex between the two splines. In case the distance between the splines is within the unit distance, you can cross the splines by using the Cross Insert Threshold Splinner. Here, the vertices are added to both splines, since the spinner is a threshold splinner.
#The Cross Insert button do not join the two splines, it only creates a vertex on each spline.
- Fillet: This command is used to round the corners of a spline where two edges meet. To use this command, click the Fillet button and drag on a corner vertex in the viewport, or select the vertex and enter the fillet value in the Fillet
- Chamfer: This command is used to bevel the corners of the spline. To use this command, click the Chamfer button and drag on a corner vertex in the viewport or select the vertex and enter the Chamfer value in the Chamfer splinner.
- Bind/Unbind: This command allows you to bind vertices similar to Refine These two commands bond the existing vertex or unbind one that is already bound. To bind a vertex, activate the command, click the vertex you want to bind, and drag it to the spline segment to which you want to bind.
- Tangent Copy and Paste: These commands allow you to copy the handle positions between different handles. Simply click the Copy button and select the handle that you want to copy and then click the Paste button and select the handle to which you want to paste the handle. When you enable the Paste Length button, it copies the handle along with its orientation.
The segment level is the section of a spline running between each vertex. You have the option of changing the Segment type by selecting the segment. Further, right-click it and then, from the Quad menu select Line or Curve command.
Following are the segment level options in the Geometry rollout:
- Refine: This option adds vertices, and is also available for segment, however, it can only serve to change the topology of the segments.
- Insert: This option inserts one or more vertices and creates additional segments. You can start creating vertices by clicking a line segment. On doing so, the new vertex will stick to the cursor. This will enable you to click again on to a new location. This helps in adding a new vertex and dividing the segment.
- Divide: This option splits the currently selected segment further into smaller segments. You have the option of defining the number of segments as desired using associated spinner. For example, if the spinner value is higher than 1, the new segments will be equally divided as per the number of segments defined.
- Detach: This button detaches the selected segments from the spline. They can be detached as separate splines in the same shape or they can be detached as separate shapes. You also have options to make a copy of the segments or to reorient any newly created splines. Reorienting simply takes the new splines coordinate system and aligns it with the World Coordinate Systems.
Below figure displays an image of the segments.
Multiple splines can be used to compose a shape This level is used for editing individual splines within the current shape.
Following are the Spline level options in the Geometry rollout:
- Boolean: A Boolean is a mathematical operation for combining two or more splines into a single spline. There are three possible types to carry out a Boolean operation:
- Union: For two overlapping circles, subtraction removes the area of one spline from the other.
- Subtraction: For two overlapping circles, subtraction removes the area of one spline from the other.
- Intersection: For two overlapping circles, intersection takes the common area between the two.
To use the Boolean command, select one of the splines and select one of the three Boolean options. Then, click the Boolean button and select the second spline. Refer to below image.
#Both the splines should be attached using the Attach option before applying Boolean operations.
- Mirror: This button works just like the base Mirror command for mirroring objects. You can also choose to make the mirror a copy or to mirror about the pivot point of the selected spline. To the right of the Mirror button there are three buttons, each of which indicates a direction.
These buttons are:
- Mirror Horizontally
- Mirror Vertically
- Mirror Both
To use this command, select the spline, select the direction, and then click the Mirror button.
- Trim: This button cuts off any extended portion between the two overlapping splines. The splines must be a part of the same object. To use this command, you need intersecting splines. Select the spline you want to keep and click the Trim button. Then, click the segment to trim.
- Extend: This button works in a reverse manner compared to the Trim command. The Extend button lengthens the end of the spline until it encounters an intersection. To use this command, you need an open spline. Click the Extend button
- Explode: This button separates all sub-object splines at once. It separates each segment into a separate spline. Select splines as the Explode option to explode all splines as separate splines. Select Objects as the Explode option to open the Explode dialog box that asks you for the Object Name. Each spline uses the name you enter with a two-digit number appended to distinguish between the different splilines.
- Reverse: This button is available for spline sub-objects.it reverses the order of the vertex number. The vertex order is important for animation paths or loft compound objects.
- Outline: This button makes a copy of the spline at a distance specified by the Outline Width spliner.