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A Wireframe Modeller for
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Tutorial


  Subdivision Mesh Editor

This little tutorial will introduce you to the concept of modelling with Moray V3.5's Mesh Editor. Note that Moray V3.3 and earlier do not have a mesh editor.

This functionality is new to Moray V3.5 (currently in Beta).


ENDTABLE

final.gif We will create the the object shown here, an object very hard to create with just CSG or bezier, but extremely simple with subdivision surfaces.
prim.gif First create a new scene and create a cube. Moray allows you to convert any of it's primitives to a mesh by using the Edit|Convert To Mesh menu item, or......
Convert To Mesh ..... you can also use this toolbar icon to convert any primitive to a mesh. For CSG objects, you can convert evaluated objects to a mesh, but be warned they are generally a mess and hard to process further....
step01.gif Now that a mesh has been created, we will activate the Mesh Editor. You can do this by pressing Tab, or by clicking on the Edit Tab on the right.
Press F to put the Mesh Editor in Face mode.
Now select a face as shown at left by Shift-clicking on it.

The Mesh Editor adds 4 new transformation modes, that work in the same way that Translate, Rotate and Scale work.

Let's set the Mesh Editor to Extrude mode by pressing E or clicking on the Extrude button on the Edit Tab. You will see the cursor change accordingly.
step02.gif Now click-drag the cursor towards the right. This moves surfaces along their normal, while first creating new sides for the extruded face. You should see the face move outwards. Move it so that you create roughly the same sized 'cube addon'..
step03.gif Repeat this again to create three sections.
step04.gif Deselect the face by pressing N, or Shift-clicking on it.

Now select the top three faces of the mesh. We will now extrude these upwards, but we need to be aware of something when multiple faces are selected.

When multiple faces are selected and we extrude them, there are two options.
The shared edges of faces can remain shared or can become seperated. The Keep Faces Together checkbox controls the behaviour.
In this case we want the faces to stay together, so make sure that's checked.
step05.gif Now click-drag the cursor towards the right. Again, this moves surfaces along their normal. Note that the intuitive direction (up) does not move the faces. This is because there isnt always an intuitive direction on the screen, especially when multiple faces are selected (that might be facing in all sorts of directions). So, moving the cursor right extrudes along the normal, moving it to the left extrudes in the oopposite direction.

You should see the faces move upwards. Move them so that you create roughly the same sized '3 cube addon'..
step06.gif Repeat this again to create another section of three 'cubes', effectively creating a 3x3 block (with no inner faces).
step07.gif Deselect the faces by pressing N, or Shift-clicking each one.

Now select the front nine faces of the mesh by Shift-clicking on each (Or using a Side view to Shift-drag a selection around the face). We will now extrude these towards us.
step08.gif Again click-drag the cursor towards the right. This moves the surfaces along their normal, towards us. Again move them so that you create roughly the same sized '9 cube addon'..
step09.gif Repeat this again to create another section, effectively creating a 3x3x3 block (with no inner faces).
step10.gif To make the holes in the cube, we will first extrude the center faces inwards.

Select the inner faces, by Shift-clicking on them. You will need to use camera movement to get at each face by right-click-dragging in the 3D view.

Your screen should look similar to the one shown at left.
step11.gif Make sure Extrude Mode is on (the cursor shape reads Extrude).

Since we are moving the faces in different directions, we need to uncheck the Keep Faces Together checkbox

Now Click-drag to the left until the faces sort of meet in the middle to form something resembling a cube, as shown at left. We will delete these six faces later to make the holes.
step12.gif We now need to weld the three points at each corner of the cube, to make the final shape.

To do this we need to switch to Point Mode by pressing P. Note that the points that make up the selected faces are automatically selected. Moray will select elements when switching modes to try to refelct the previous modes selection.

Also, since we will be working inside the shape it will be easier to see if we switch to wireframe view by pressing 3 while the cursor is over the view (or right-clicking over the View name and selecting Wireframe).
step13.gif On the Edit Tab, you can see under Point Operations there is a Weld ... button. Click it. You will see a dialog pop up (see left). Also, blue dots will appear on the view where the weld centers will be. This allows you to see what points will be welded together (collapsed to one point). On the dialog there is also a display of how many points are selected (24) and how many weld centers there will be. This will probably also be 24, because of the low threshold.
step14.gif Move the Radius Threshold spinners and watch the blue dots in the view and the display of the number of weld centers. Moray will connect the points it is welding to the new center where the welded points will land up. Set the spinner so that 8 weld centers result and click on Weld in the dialog.
step15.gif Now the object has a cube in the middle. We need to delete the faces so switch to face mode (press F) and select them as shown (Shift-clicking on each face)
step16.gif Press the Del key. This deletes the faces and we now have our basic shape.
Subdivision Settings On the Edit Tab the menu shown at left determines how many subdivision levels to display. When the value is 0, you are in basically editing the mesh.
If the spinner is set above 0, the mesh becomes the control mesh and the subdivision surface is displayed.

The left spinner is used to set the display subdisivion level, the right one sets the level for exporting to POV-Ray. Generally, you will have the screen set at 2 (or 3) and the export at 3 (maybe 4).
step17.gif Increasing the Subdivision Lebel spinner will give you and idea of how the shape looks.


ok, Let's make it a bit thinner.
step18.gif We will do this by switching to point mode (press P) and going to Wireframe display (press 3 over the viewports) and selecting the inner 2 rows of points in one of the 2D views.
step19.gif Then use the Scale Mode to move the points apart, towards the outer rows...
step20.gif Repeat in all directions, using N to clear the selection and Shift-dragging a selection around the points.
step21.gif And this is what the object should now look like in the Mesh Editor if you followed along correctly :-)
You can download the completed model here.

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