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simple nurbs surface editing query ?

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Perhaps someone might be able to advise - if I am correct in my experience of trying to model within Vectorworks (2014 Architect).-

As an example - I create a simple glass shape (Nurbs surface) with revolve with rail.....

to edit this shape

u degree 3

V degree 8

double clicking provides the reshape tool and reveals control points / vertices to edit with -

however ,

I am limited to selecting only 1 control point at a time ?

I am limited to moving only in one X,Y,Z, direction at a time ?

even at that -9 times out of ten I receive a Nurbs creation failure notice ...

This should be a very simple procedure whereby moving / editing one point should draw / move adjacent surface points .

Forgive me but , My query is - is this as responsive as it gets in VW ? Is there a more responsive procedure I am unaware of ?

Grateful for any advice here


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

What are you trying to create? Can you post a reference image of what you're going for or something similar to it?

There are a LOT of different ways to accomplish 3D models, often its just a matter of using the easiest tool for the object you're trying to create.

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Thanks for the quick response Jim ,

We have several fabric - tent structures to develop . the beginnings of which are as per larger image -

To which -we need to apply editing to the Nurbs Surfaces - i.e. the material - either to one point of control or preferably several grouped and such that the movement of these surface controls proportionately influences the surface and control points in the region .... sorry - difficult to describe this more precisely .

I include an example image of deformed glass which best describes the action we need to create on the surface.



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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

That sort of deformed/irregular shape you are going to have difficulty creating I suspect. Currently the Sweep command would let you get the normal wine glass object in a few seconds, but deforming that side/edge in that manner is not something Vectorworks' is very good at yet.

There are changes coming that will make this easier, but for now you may encounter problems. There are some users here that have gotten very creative with raw 3D modeling and may know of an easy way to do this, but I do not know of any I would recommend.

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I am limited to selecting only 1 control point at a time ?

I am limited to moving only in one X,Y,Z, direction at a time ?

The Reshape tool allows marquee select of single or multiple vertices. Shift marquee or shift click allows extension or reduction of the selection.

Any subsequent move affects the entire selection.

One anomaly of the marquee selection is that next attempted click/drag move of a single vertex reactivates the previous marquee, or the move box displays as a hand. I just toggle in & out of the Reshape tool. Annoying!

The 1st mode of the move options allows full xyz movement. But the end point of the move may need snaps that are not extant or available.

Vectorworks does not make this easy, but another way to make the deformed gobblet is to draw contours representing the shape at vertical intervals and loft among them. It helps to know parameters of the shape you are after so you can draw correct contour shape at correct z.

The single rail loft can have several profiles. There may be some way to define your top edge, another profile part way up and another for the bottom.

Good luck!



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Lofting ribs is probably easier than the contours.

To edit, tweek the ribs and reloft.

In example, the green rib and the two blue ones control the deform. All others are same shape at 30? intervals.

Use the Loft Surface no Rails mode.

Start the loft at the red one and work around the circle.

The blue ribs start as dupes of the green rib. Reshape in front view, then rotate into the 30? positions (delete the orig blue ones first)

Anyway, for now it's way easier to edit the source curves and loft a new surface than to edit the surface.



Edited by Benson Shaw
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Thankyou Benson ,

seems my best option definitely to define the parameters / i.e. edges and forms prior to surface creation . and as you point out probably best to have separate definition / snap points for any subsequent editing .

It does nt really allow for looser shape transformation and editing , but I can see here a method for enabling us to work .

I do seem to have difficulty selecting multiple vertices across both U and V axis with the marquee tool but this is something I m sure I m missing and or getting wrong somewhere .

Thanks again for the advice .


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