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Dennis van Dam

3D Constraints Problem

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The following was also posted to VWListServ and Tech Support, I apologise if this violates posting protocols.


I'm an intermediate skill level VW user, new to the list, and hope to find some insight to navigating the "subtle nuances" of the VW 3D environment in this forum.

I'm currently struggling with the following problem.

With the active Working Plane at an angle to the Ground Plane, and a 3D Locus set on the surface of the working plane, I want to click-drag draw a line initiating at the 3D Locus which then propagates perpendicular to the Working Plane. Per the manual, invoking the 3D constraint, "Constrain Perpendicular", will automatically constrain or orient objects parrallel to the Working Plane "K" axis, as they are drawn.

The problem manifests as follows:

On my way to press the "Constrain Perpendicular" button on the Constraints Palette, as I move the cursor across the drawing area, the Data Bar I and J field values scroll (K value is fixed) to denote the location of the cursor on the Working Plane. At that point at which the cursor leaves the drawing area and enters the "palette area", the I and J fields stop scrolling and display set values comensurate with drawing area point of departure of the cursor. I then "press" the "Constrain Perpendicular" button and cursor back into the drawing area to draw the line with the 3D Polygon tool (previously selected). The "point of departure" I and J values are now locked and the K value in the Data Bar now scrolls thus constraining the cursor to "travel" parrallel to the K axis, along a line correspondent to this arbitrary and unwanted Working Plane I - J location.

I can edit the unwanted I and J values in the Data Bar, changing them to the desired I - J location, thus setting the "first end" of the 3D polygon (line) at the desired location on the working Plane, however the "second end" still defaults to any (mouse clicked or data entered) location along the origonal locked I - J defined location, resulting in a line that starts in the right place but does not propagate perpendicular to the working Plane. This approach also negates the click-drag drawing method I'd prefer to employ for this step.

After extensive experimentation and contemplation, it seems to me the data Bar I and J values automatically locking down whenever "Constrain Perpendicular" is invoked, is counter productive, I don't see how this could be a desired mode of function under any circumstances, particularly given that the locked down values are (in this instance) determined by cursor departure from the drawing area.

What gives, do I have something toggled I shouldn't have, or is this a malfunction?

Can anybody shed any light on how I can click-drag draw lines automatically perpendicular to the Working Plane using the "Constrain Perpendicular" mode?

Thanks for any help,

Dennis van Dam

Aerosail Inc

Mac OS 9.0.2, 500mhz PowerBook, 256mb ram, VW 8.5.1

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