Landscape Design Software by Idea Spectrum
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Converting to a Custom Model

The custom model tool is not an object that can be added like the other modeling tools, but is rather a fast way to convert any object to a custom model. Custom models can be edited in ways that other objects cannot. For example, the polygons of a custom model can be edited or deleted.

To convert to a Custom Model:

1.   Select the object you would like to convert.

2.   Click Convert to Custom Model. Press Esc to cancel.

Tips:

      Converting to a custom model can reduce the editing options available. For example, if a house is converted to a custom model, its roof pitch can no longer be adjusted.

      Polygons can be deleted from an object by selecting them and clicking Edit and Delete.

      When specific polygons are selected, any changes to the material of the object will apply only to the selected polygons.

Editing Points

In some cases it is necessary to edit the points (also called vertices) of the custom model. To do this, you can use the Edit points button. The points in a custom model are adjusted in a very similar way to the points of a Region, but each point has an elevation value.

To edit the points of a custom model:

1.   Click Edit points to enter point editing mode.

2.   Select the points you wish to edit.

3.   Move points by left-clicking and dragging the mouse, or delete points by pressing Del.

4.   When done, click Edit points again to toggle it off and leave point editing mode.

The following is a custom model with the Edit points option selected.

Editing Polygons

Editing polygons is very useful because it allows for specific polygons to be given certain materials, shaders, and material mapping. Specific polygons can also be deleted.

To edit the polygons of a custom model:

1.   Click Edit polygons to enter polygon editing mode.

2.   Select the polygons you wish to edit.

3.   Change the material, mapping, smoothing, or the shader of the selected polygons.

4.   When done, click Edit polygons again to toggle it off and leave polygon editing mode.

The following is a custom model with the Edit polygons option enabled, and several polygons selected.

Editing Smoothness

Smoothness is a term used to describe the visual appearance of polygon sides. When designing in 3D, there are no true curves; even the smoothest of spheres is actually a collection of flat triangles and squares. Enabling a higher smoothness value makes the sides of the polygons appear smoother than they really are.

To smooth the polygons of a custom model:

1.   Click Edit polygons to enter polygon editing mode.

2.   Select the polygons you wish to smooth.

3.   Click Edit Smoothness and set the smoothness value.

4.   When done, click OK and then click Edit polygons again to leave polygon editing mode.

The following is a simple sphere with a smooth right side and a non-smooth left side. Notice the difference that is made by smoothing, even though the polygons of each side of the sphere are identical.

Setting Mapping

Mapping is the term used to describe the way a material is applied to an object. If the points of a custom model are moved, you will likely notice the material begin to "stretch". To counteract this, the material can easily be remapped through the Set Mapping feature.

To set mapping on a custom model:

1.   Click Set mapping to reset mapping and expand additional options.

2.   Set the Width, Height, Angle, and Offset as desired.

In the following screen shot, the shed on the right is the same as the shed on the left, except that the mapping has been set using the Set mapping option.

Setting a Shader

Shaders are simply different effects for your model. Shaders are easy to set and can increase the realism of your custom models.

To Set a Shader on a custom model:

1.   Click on the drop-down list next to Shader.

2.   Select an effect for your model.

Shader Types

There are six different types of shaders to choose from, and the proper shader to use will depend on your model's material. For example, a glossy wood would need a "shiny" or "normal" shader, while weathered wood would need a "matte" shader. The available shader types are listed below:

      Normal: This is the default shader. A normal shader is fairly shiny, but not excessively so.

      Matte: A matte shader will not be at all shiny. This shader works well on dull materials.

      Shiny: A shiny shader looks very glossy. This shader works well on polished materials.

      Chrome: A chrome shader gives the appearance of reflective metal.

      Glass: A glass shader makes your model appear as if it is made of transparent glass.

      Semi-transparent: A semi-transparent shader will make your model 25%, 50%, or 75% transparent. Unlike the glass shader, the semi-transparent shader is non-reflective.

The following illustrates the various shader types.

Polygon Material Mapping

In many instances it is very useful to apply a different material to a selection of polygons on your custom model. For example, if you wanted to change the wooden legs of a table to a metal material, you could do so by selecting the polygons of the legs and then changing the material.

To set a different material to a selection of polygons:

1.   Click Edit polygons to enter polygon editing mode.

2.   Select the polygons you wish to apply a different material to.

3.   Click on the picture of the material to change the selection.

4.   When done, click Edit polygons again to leave polygon editing mode.

The following is a screen shot of two planters. The planter on the left is composed of just one material, while in the planter on the right the center round polygon was assigned a dirt material.

See also:

Custom Model Properties
Adding a Box
Adding a Ramp
Adding a Cylinder
Adding an Extrusion
Adding a Lathe
Adding a Part
Setting Object Properties
Selecting Objects
Selecting Points
Editing Objects

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