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Thread: How to extrude along a curve while tapering?

  1. #1
    Newbie Member Burndog's Avatar
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    How to extrude along a curve while tapering?

    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?
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  2. #2
    Super Member tribbles's Avatar
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    LWCAD will do this with ease, but I'm not sure about what's possible without it.
    I bought a Mac Pro, and it was out of date before it arrived.

    I then bought a MacBook Pro. It, too, was out of date before it arrived.

    Wait a week after I've bought it if you want the latest.

  3. #3
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    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.

  4. #4
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    Here is what I got,
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Denis.

  5. #5
    Executive Director Steve Warner's Avatar
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    The Pictrix C_Worm_Lt Plug-in 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!

  6. #6
    Worms no more! Free fun! Dodgy's Avatar
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    Magic bevel will also allow you to do this.
    Push the software, don't let it push YOU!
    My own plugins and work:www.mikegreen.name
    LaptopSetup:corei7 2.4GHz nvidia GT 650M 8Gig win8 64
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  7. #7
    Newbie Member Burndog's Avatar
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    Many Thanks!

    Wow you guys rock! Thanks for all the help and alternate means to achieve my goal. I really appreciate it.

    Steve

  8. #8
    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!

  9. #9
    Executive Director Steve Warner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealist.
    Steve, that plugin looks very cool. Going to check it out. Thanks!
    You're welcome! That and Casitus' TAZ Pipe plug-in 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.

  10. #10
    Newbie Member Burndog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Warner
    You're welcome! That and Casitus' TAZ Pipe plug-in 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.
    One thing though Steve, the lite version does not do the scaling feature so I am moving to using the Rail Extrude Multiple.

  11. #11
    Executive Director Steve Warner's Avatar
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    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.

  12. #12
    Newbie Member Burndog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealist.
    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...


    Quote Originally Posted by Surrealist.
    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.

  13. #13
    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

  14. #14
    Newbie Member Burndog's Avatar
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    The Winner is: Magic Bevel

    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!
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  15. #15
    Executive Director Steve Warner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burndog
    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?

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