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The Charge of the Rhinoceros (NURBS Modeling for Windows)
Posted Sep 29, 2004 Print Version     « previous Page 2of 4 next »

Move, scale, and rotate any object, in absolute terms, or select Match Specified Points, which lets you resize to match—or align one object with—any other. Align an object with a point on any flat or convoluted surface so that it is, for example, perpendicular to the surface beneath that point (keeping your astronaut perpendicular—or at any other angle—to that point on the hull of the spaceship beneath her). In addition to copying and mirroring objects, you can twist, bend, taper (which turns a sphere into a teardrop), or flow (which make the teardrop look like a flickering candle) them.

You can turn an object into an array—rectangular, polar (an array in a circle), along a curve, or on a surface. A surface array lets you turn one missile, for example, into an array, with each new missile in your grid apparently aimed directly at your target.

Modeling Aids
Draw a line or curve, and then use the Elevator mode to lift a point off the z-coordinate of the construction plane; lift with your mouse, or type an exact height into the ever-ready command line.

The Tab key constrains cursor movement along a line. The distance constraint places your next point a specified distance from the previous point. Or, type an angle in the format requester, click your mouse, and your cursor moves around the last point at the specified distance and in increments of the specified angle.

When editing your objects, you can join them together at a point, along a line, or along mutually adjacent surfaces. Alternately, you can Explode (un-join) a polysurface into separate surfaces, a curve into curve segments, or a mesh into individual mesh faces. You can also trim (cut away parts of) lines or surfaces, using other curves as your "cutter." Similarly, Untrim removes holes you created or reinstates a surface's boundaries.

An object's Properties Dialog Box controls its object type (curve, surface, polysurface, etc), name, layer, color, and isocurve density (the number of isoparametric curves Rhino draws on the surface). Match lets you change properties of one object to match another.

Edit complete objects, or edit their control points to add kinks to one curve or to smooth out another. Select points to edit in the usual ways (click on, lasso around) or tell Rhino to pick the next "x" points in a given direction. You can "group" objects to move them as one, or "block" a collection of objects into parts libraries and update all instances from one block definition.

A Worksession lets multiple users work on a large project simultaneously, by breaking the project into many files. Each user edits a different file while observing, but not affecting, related parts of the project.

True Colors
Preview your rendering using OpenGL shading, which mimics, but does not exactly duplicate, what you will get in a Render. Its quick approximation of light behavior is useful for things like aiming lights.

Rhino describes its rendering capability as "adequate" and "convenient," but it is not designed to be a fully featured rendering program. For best results, export your model to a separate application.


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