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Different colors on different surfaces of objects



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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Not yet, unfortunately. This is normally called UV mapping and is a highly requested ability.

For the time being, normally you would need to extract the surfaces of the 3D object (via the Exctract tool in the 3D modeling toolset, in Extract Face mode) then you can texture the extracted faces separately. This DOES create separate objects however, so normally you would want to combine them within a group or a symbol with the main object for easier organization.

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Some of it is possible.

For a Cube:

Select the cube, then Modify>Convert>Convert to Mesh.

Dbl click the mesh to edit. Select the individual faces and apply color as needed.


With textures (assumes cube has a color fill)

In the OIP Render tab, assign a texture to the cube, and click the Part pulldown. Assign different textures to the Top, Bottom and Sides. Unfortunately, the sides cannot be individually textured.

Most objects can be reduced to facets or faces which can be individually treated. The Extract tool in Extract Surface mode may be helpful (3D toolset) - this leaves the source object intact. Sometimes the Convert to Group command is needed (Modify menu>Convert) - this converts the source. Sometimes Ungroup is helpful. As above, Convert to Mesh or Convert to NURBS or Convert to 3d Polys may be the route.

Post some specific examples.



Edited by Benson Shaw
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Thanks. I was actually playing around with extracting the surfaces, only problem is the extracted surfaces are in exactly the same plane as the original surface (which is correct of course), but this means sometimes changing the color works, sometimes I have to move the new surface 1/8" or so from the original surface for the color to read. Make sense?

I'll try the mesh thing.

I'm doing it on step units where I want the various treads and risers to be different colors. And it would be helpful if there was an easy way to edit so I can edit the design on the fly.

Thanks for the answers!

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Another thing to look at is classing different objects/faces. Assign the objects to those classes with the attributes palette class by color fill and by texture enabled for every object/face. At least that way the colors can be changed by editing the various classes without having to dig into nested geometry to select the objects.

Regarding the coincident extracted faces. If the source object is made invisible, either by assigning it to an separate layer or class, the extracted faces will display their selected colors.

Regarding the steps and risers. Sounds like these are part of a Vectorworks Stair or Custom Stair object. Test by duplicating the stair and working on the dupe in a test layer. Apply the Convert to Group command (Cmd K), and in the resulting group, assign colors to the various elements. If this works, send the original to an invisible layer (it can be used again if the stair config changes) and place the new group in the drawing.

OK, good luck.


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