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View Full Version : How to extrude along a curve while tapering?



Burndog
06-28-2007, 09:27 AM
Hello,
Been trying to get this one to work for the last couple days and have now turned to asking for help.. Help! :)

I'm trying to create a round shape that follows a curve (not during animation but for basic modeling construction) that tapers.

I've been able to create the shape without the taper. I saw some online posts referring to Rail Extrude (Multiple) and that looked like it could work but still not luck as I do not find a such a button in the Multiply area. Also when I add the second curve I lose the capability of Rail Extrude.

Here's a screen shot of what I am trying to do (Mac, LW 9.2):


Am I heading down the right path or should I create the tapered shaft then work on distorting it to the required path/profile?

tribbles
06-28-2007, 09:51 AM
LWCAD will do this with ease, but I'm not sure about what's possible without it.

dpont
06-28-2007, 09:53 AM
With your two curves and "Knot" option,
scaled checked, this should work,
but knots (points) of each curve
must be ajusted to get regular sections.

Denis.

dpont
06-28-2007, 10:14 AM
Here is what I got,
47658

Denis.

Steve Warner
06-28-2007, 10:27 AM
The Pictrix C_Worm_Lt Plug-in (http://www.pictrix.jp/lw/index_2.html) will allow you to do this. You can also twist your extrusion over the length of the spline if you like. You don't even need to align your poly to the spline. Just put the template in the foreground and the spline in the background. Run the tool and the shape will automatically be extruded. Then open the Numeric panel while the tool is still active. Click on the S/L tab and adjust either the Scale Start or Scale Last setting.

Cheers!

Dodgy
06-28-2007, 10:47 AM
Magic bevel will also allow you to do this.

Burndog
06-28-2007, 11:03 AM
Wow you guys rock! Thanks for all the help and alternate means to achieve my goal. I really appreciate it.

Steve

Surrealist.
06-28-2007, 01:25 PM
Addressing some of your points:


I saw some online posts referring to Rail Extrude (Multiple) and that looked like it could work but still not luck as I do not find a such a button in the Multiply area.

Rail Extrude and Rail Extrude Multiple is the same tool. It changes to "multiple" if you have two curves in the background layer.


Also when I add the second curve I lose the capability of Rail Extrude.

What do you mean exactly? Was it ghosted (will be if you have curves in a foreground layer), or did the tool not function? If the latter the tool may have become corrupt.

You should have been able to do it with two curves in the BG and the poly in the foreground then the parameters Denis pointed out.

Steve, that plugin looks very cool. Going to check it out. Thanks!

Steve Warner
06-28-2007, 02:42 PM
Steve, that plugin looks very cool. Going to check it out. Thanks!
You're welcome! That and Casitus' TAZ Pipe plug-in (http://www.steelronin.com/plugins/TAZ_Pipe_v2.4.zip) have completely eliminated Rail Extrude from my workflow. The really awesome thing about TAZ Pipe is that you can extrude multiple rails all at once. This makes it an awesome way to create cartoony hair, vines, etc. :thumbsup:

Burndog
06-28-2007, 05:11 PM
You're welcome! That and Casitus' TAZ Pipe plug-in (http://www.steelronin.com/plugins/TAZ_Pipe_v2.4.zip) have completely eliminated Rail Extrude from my workflow. The really awesome thing about TAZ Pipe is that you can extrude multiple rails all at once. This makes it an awesome way to create cartoony hair, vines, etc. :thumbsup:

One thing though Steve, the lite version does not do the scaling feature so I am moving to using the Rail Extrude Multiple.

Steve Warner
06-28-2007, 05:16 PM
The Light version will do scaling! I've got it running right now. :) You can scale the entire shape, individual nodes or in a range from the start of the spline to the end.

Burndog
06-28-2007, 05:17 PM
Addressing some of your points:

Rail Extrude and Rail Extrude Multiple is the same tool. It changes to "multiple" if you have two curves in the background layer.

Yes, I've figured this part out...




What do you mean exactly? Was it ghosted (will be if you have curves in a foreground layer), or did the tool not function? If the latter the tool may have become corrupt.

You should have been able to do it with two curves in the BG and the poly in the foreground then the parameters Denis pointed out.



My problem was that what I thought were curves were not, so the feature was grayed out. The logo I am building was first in Illustrator so I am importing the various elements and then recreating the logo in 3D. I was expecting two nice "curves" from my EPS import to be acknowledged as usable curves. This was not the case so unless there is a feature to convert, I will be using my imported eps curves as a template to redraw the curves using the spline tools. That seems to make the multi rail extrude work as demonstrated by dpont's example.

Also I have LWCAD 2.0 but have not had the time to review that method of constructing the elements I am after.

Surrealist.
06-28-2007, 05:29 PM
If you are going back to the LW solution, also do check out the Magic Bevel (Extend/More) tool that Dodgy recommended. You set the taper with Scale in real time and the Precision number gives you less (higher number) or more (lower number) segments.

In the Operation drop down you can do other things in real time such as Edit Path (the curve) Delete Segments or Delete Path.

If you are looking for organic real time feedback this is a nifty little tool

Burndog
06-29-2007, 07:53 AM
Steve, I never was able to pull up the scale values as shown on the Worm web site:
http://www.pictrix.jp/lw/index_2.html

Multiple Rail extrude failed when I could not control a perfectly tapering distance between the two splines so the resulting shape bulged or contracted where there were inconstancies in the taper.

Magic Rail worked wonderfully. I was able to draw a spline within my template lines and the resulting taper was controlled by the plugin so no unpredicted bulges.

Thanks again for all the help!

Steve Warner
06-29-2007, 10:47 AM
Steve, I never was able to pull up the scale values as shown on the Worm web site:
http://www.pictrix.jp/lw/index_2.html

I'm glad you got Magic Bevel to work for you, but I'm curious why C_Worm isn't working. This may be a dumb question (so please forgive me if so) but did you resize the Numeric panel in order to see all the options? If your Numeric window is small the options will not appear to be there. The Numeric panel won't auto-resize and it won't give a scroll bar, so it can be easy to think you're seeing everything when in reality there are more options available.

Edit: Hmmm... Looks like you're on a Mac. It may be a Mac issue. Can anyone else on the Mac confirm this?

Burndog
07-01-2007, 11:30 AM
Can anyone else on the Mac confirm this?

Steve, I retested and found that the problem was that the SL tab did not reveal all of it's features and only showed the offset X Y and Z. I noticed the pull to expand area, lower right and then was able to reveal the other scaling input areas.

Can I trouble you for a beginner question? I was working in the Modeler and seeing it update to the Layout with every save. Now, having created newer Scenes as there were numerous problems in Skytracer backgrounds and Fprime 3.1 , my latest scenes no longer dynamically update when I make a change in the modeler. I don't remember making any settings changes so wonder if it's a bug in 9.2 Mac or problem with the default file locations, or ?

I can post this as a new thread if others would benefit from the answer.

Regards,

Steve

art
07-05-2007, 01:36 PM
Is the TAZ pipe plugin interactive for you in the current release version of LW?
It was broken, then fixed, and it appears to be broken again (interactive part, that is)


You're welcome! That and Casitus' TAZ Pipe plug-in (http://www.steelronin.com/plugins/TAZ_Pipe_v2.4.zip) have completely eliminated Rail Extrude from my workflow. The really awesome thing about TAZ Pipe is that you can extrude multiple rails all at once. This makes it an awesome way to create cartoony hair, vines, etc. :thumbsup:

erikals
07-22-2007, 07:24 AM
Running it in 9.2, but it isn't interactive. Could be caused by the graphics card I'm using (7300 LE), but I kind of doubt it.