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VectorWorksTutorial

Creating and Modifying Free-form Shapes

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Tutorial provided by Nemetschek North America
November 25, 2003

In this VectorWorks tutorial, you will construct a vase in order to learn the basics of creating and modifying free-form shapes.

Setting Up the Modeling Units

This tutorial works in inches.

To set up the units for modeling distances in inches:

1. Select Page > Units.

2. In the Units dialog box, select Inches from the Unit Name list.

All distances entered for designs will now be in inches.

Creating the Cross Sections

To create the cross sections:

1. From the View bar, click Fit to Window.

2. Click the Rectangle tool from the 2D Tools palette.

3. Click on the lower left side of the drawing area, and then press Tab to highlight the +/-X field. Enter 6”, and then press Enter (Win) or Return (Mac).

4. Press Tab until the +/-Y field is highlighted. Enter 5”, and then press Enter (Win) or Return (Mac). Click on the drawing area to set the rectangle.

5. With the rectangle still highlighted, select Edit > Copy.

6. Select Edit > Paste.

A copy of the rectangle is placed on the drawing.

7. Select the Rectangle tool.

8. Click on the drawing, and then press Tab to highlight the +/-X field. Enter 3”, and then press Enter (Win) or Return (Mac). Press Tab until the +/-Y field is highlighted. Enter 3”, and the press Enter (Win) or Return (Mac). Click on the drawing area to set the square.

A square is created.

Setting Up the Cross Section

To set up the cross section:

1. Click the 2D Selection tool from the 2D Tools palette.

2. Select Edit > Select All.

3. Select Model > Convert to NURBS.

4. Select Organize > Ungroup.

5. Deselect the rectangles by clicking on a unused area of the drawing.

6. Select one of the two larger rectangles.

7. In the Object Info palette, enter 3” for the Z value.

8. Select the other large rectangle, and then enter -3” for the Z value in the Object Info palette.

9. Select Edit > Select All.

10. Select Tool > Align > Align/Distribute.

The Align/Distribute Objects dialog box opens.

11. Select Align and Center for both the vertical and horizontal.

12. Click OK.

13. Select View > Standard Views > Right Isometric.

Creating the Vase Shape

To create the body of the vase:

1. Click the Loft Surface tool from the 3D Tools palette, and then select Loft with no Rail from the Mode bar.

2. Click on the left corner of the bottom square, and then click on the left corner of the middle rectangle.

The two corners are connected by a red line representing the beginning of proposed curve.

3. Click on the left corner of the top square. The loft curve is completed.

Note: If the wrong connections are selected, double-click on the last point to cancel the operation, and then start again.

4. Press Enter (Win) or Return (Mac) or click the check mark button on the Mode bar to accept the proposed curve.

The Loft Creation dialog box opens.

5. Select Create Solid and then click Preview.

A preview of the final shape is displayed.

6. Click OK to accept the settings.

7. To view the model rendered, use the Light tool from the 3D Tools palette to insert a light source, and then select View > Rendering > OpenGL.

Hollowing Out the Vase

To hollow out the vase:

1. Select View > Rendering > Wireframe.

2. Click the Shell Solid tool from the 3D Tools palette.

3. Click on the top face of the vase.

The Shell Solid Preferences dialog box opens.

4. Enter 3/4” as the Thickness, and then click OK.

The top face of the vase is highlighted in red.

5. Press Enter (Win) or Return (Mac) or click the check mark button on the Mode bar to create the shell.

Note: If the wrong face is highlighted, select the correct one before pressing Enter.

Blending the Edges

All the edges of the vase can be blended to give them a smoother and rounder appearance.

To blend edges:

1. Select View > Rendering > Wireframe.

2. Click the Fillet Edge tool from the 3D Tools palette.

3. Click on one of the vertical edges of the vase.

The Fillet Edge Preferences dialog box opens.

4. Select Constant Radius, and then enter 1/4” for the Radius field.

5. Click OK.

6. Holding the Shift key down, select all of the vertical edges of the vase.

Each edge will change to red as it is selected.

Rotate the drawing using the Flyover tool from the 3D Tools palette to make selection easier. To obtain the flyover tool in Boomerang mode, press Shift + spacebar + C. Release the Shift + spacebar + C to return to the Fillet Edge tool.

7. Press Enter (Win) or Return (Mac) or click the check mark button on the Mode bar to accept the selections and blend the edges.

8. Click the Fillet Edge Preferences button on the Mode bar.

The Fillet Edge Preferences dialog box opens.

9. Select Constant Radius, enter 1/5” for the Radius, and then select the Select Tangent Entities checkbox.

10. Click OK.

11. Holding the Shift key, select the tangentially-connected chain of edges.

12. Press Enter (Win) or Return (Mac) or click the check mark button on the Mode bar to blend the edges.

13. To render the model, click the Light tool from the 3D Tools palette to insert a light source, and then select View > Rendering > OpenGL.

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