Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Modifying your Body (Walls)

Wall Body Modifiers
I remember when I tried to use a body modifier when it was first introduced and I don't know whether I did it wrong or it has been improved but I remember the frustration when it didn't work and I abandoned them as just another one of those items that may or may not work depending on which way the wind was blowing. Now I use them all the time to get simple things done in an effective way and I find them reliable and dependable.

Here is a job I did in 2003, fresh newbie to ADT3.0. I thought I was clever to model the arch on top (project to Pline) and add the red courses but I didn't finish modelling the capping to the arch. So we'll add that now. The wall was existing so I didn't bother to model the cavity.

1. First step is look at the wall in elevation and draw a PLine to show what I want the finished wall to look like. I used the 'Isolate Objects' option on my right click to just work on the wall. (another great feature). Select the wall and right click. Roof/Floorline - Edit Roofline option and now looking in your command line choose the 'Project to Polyline' option (P). Note: The red brick courses are defined as seperate componants in the wall style.Now I need to add my top course header over the raised bwk and arch. Going back to the elevation view, I trace a pline over the top (not the wings), offset it 110, draw lines to join both ends and then select one PLINE, right click and select J (join). If you have trouble getting a closed PLINE, just trace over the whole lot using the arc option where required. This time the join option worked but it can be quicker to get the job done to just do it again. Now I tried to turn that closed PLine into a Mass Element but it would not even give me that option. Perhaps the USC wasn't correct. Regardless I just extruded it into a solid, then converted the solid into an ME.Now the final step is to add the ME as a Body Modifier to the wall. In this case I added it as an additive to the top course so it would use the same characteristics (red brick). Notice that it does not even touch this top course but it accepts the ME as an additive to it.
There are some options here. We could add a componant to the wall and give it a width of 0 so it will only show if it has a sweep applied or has a body modifer added to it. We could then have a different texture map or hatch applied automatically if required. In this case it's the same brick as the top course so I have just piggy backed it there.

The arch componant should really have special treatment to get the bricks to follow the arch. I have always had some wild schemes to achieve this but never taken the time to test them. For now I'll leave it to show red brick and be happy.

OH NO! I just pulled out a photo!

It's not how I modelled it!!!!

That's okay, I'll just 'Restore' that Body Modifier, add some more ME to the WHOLE length of the wall, including the little vertical bits I had missed & union the whole ME together into one object. Then when adding the ME to the wall as a BM, select the replace option and it removes the course that would otherwise show (that we don't want).Now that I have a handle on Body Modifier's, I find them indespensible. They cleverly & efficiently solve many of the little modelling issues you come across in building virtual models. But wait ... there's more!!

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