Tank tracks
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 From:  Brian (BWTR)
1634.4 In reply to 1634.3 
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 From:  Matsuo
1634.5 
First of all I'd like to thank you for the quick responses!

I want to create the tracks of the Rhino tank, from Warhammer 40K.


Will post the file tomorrow!
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 From:  manz
1634.6 In reply to 1634.5 
Hi Matsuo,

OK, I see the problem you are having.

The problem is the initial size of the single track, if the size does not divide the curve exactly (or very close), then you will get a gap or as in your example an overlap.

One way would be to divide the curve using array of a point or line, then scale the single track to fit, then the array of the track will fit correctly.

Example:-

I have drawn a vetical line to the curve, then made array of that line around the curve, for that, you select a number rather than a spacing, then the curve will divide correctly.. (I entered 25 for your tracks)



I then scaled the track to 2 of the curves



Then made array of the track (again 25)



Hope that helps. Just post if any questions.


- manz

EDITED: 3 Aug 2009 by MANZ

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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
1634.7 In reply to 1634.6 
Cool trick ;)
---
Pilou
Is beautiful that please without concept!
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 From:  Matsuo
1634.8 In reply to 1634.6 
Hi Manz,

Thanks for the quick response!

I've tried your example, and it's working great, except for one minor detail:




I can't seem to get the segments to align correctly at the corners!


Any suggestions?

Cheers!
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 From:  Michael Gibson
1634.9 In reply to 1634.8 
Hi Matsuo, if I understand what you are wanting, just array curve directly won't do that for you - you want to align 2 end points together as they go along the curve.

Array curve does not work like that, it is based off of a single center point and places that to be aligned with the curve tangent. That is not the same thing as sliding 2 endpoints along the curve.

So you can't use Array curve directly to finish your precisely aligned tracks all in one shot, it just does not have the "2 endpoint" style that you need in this case.

What I think you need to do is to first turn your curve into a polyline that has equal length lines in it. You'll use array curve to do this part - start with one point object (under Draw curve / More) on the curve:



Now select it, and run Transform / Array / Curve to replicate it at equal distances around the curve:



Delete the curve, leaving just the points:



Now use Draw curve / Lines / Polyline to draw a polyline snapping points on to each point:




Now I believe if you position your initial piece so it fits in position along one line, you can now select it and then use Array curve with the polyline as the path and it will align as you want.

Basically with the curve, the actual curvy piece in between 2 points was being used as the place to take the curve tangent from, but you wanted something straight so having a straight segment path instead of a curvy path will give the kind of thing you want.

Let me know if you need more detail on the finishing part.

- Michael

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 From:  Matsuo
1634.10 In reply to 1634.9 
Hi Michael,

I've come quite far with the explanation you've given me, but there's one last thing I can't seem to get quite right: the aligning and scaling of the segments. Could you possibly give me a step-by-step example on how to draw, place and scale segments?


Thanks in advance!
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 From:  Michael Gibson
1634.11 In reply to 1634.10 
Hi Matsuo, here is a more detailed explanation.

I started with your file, but deleted everything except for one tread piece in a flat area and the curve:



Next, I think it is a good idea to make the tread straddle midway through the curve instead of ride on top of it, I think the kind of alignment you want will be middle-to-middle alignment? So to get that it should be in the middle. To do that, I went to the front view and zoomed in a ways, then clicked down on this point near the middle of the vertical lines:



Then dragged it down to move the mid point of that line to align with the vertical-line intersection of the path:




Now you need to place the first point. To do this, start the Point command (under Draw curve / more) then drag a construction line between the centers of the 2 faces, like this - start by moving the mouse to one side:



Then instead of clicking and releasing the mouse, press hold down and drag and you will pull out a construction line - move your mouse over to the other center point:



Now you can grab the midpoint of that:



That is your kind of anchoring hinge point where you want each tread to touch each other (on one side at least).

Now you do the steps that I showed above to replicate that point at even distances along the curve, delete the curve and draw a polyline in its place instead. After you have done that you will see this situation:



Note the point indicated with the red arrow - the tread is not currently of the right size to align the other side with that hinge point. You need to scale the tread so that it is arranged so both hinge points of the tread are at ends of the line segment, currently only the start one is.

You can use the scale command to edit the tread so that it is of the correct size.

To do that, select the tread, and then run Transform / Scale. You'll now pick 3 points for the scale at the spots indicated here:



The first point is the origin point of the scale, pick it at the good hinge point, you want that to stay locked in relation to where it is. Then for the first reference point, drag out a construction line same as described above, and place the first reference point at the middle of that. Now for the third point click the end of the line segment.

The tread will be scaled by this relative amount, so now it is of the proper size running exactly along one of the line segments:



Now that it is the proper size to fit, you can select it, and run array curve again, pick the polyline as the path and you will get the fully aligned tread (I think this is the kind of arrangement you want?):



Let me know if any step is not clear, or if this wasn't what you wanted.

- Michael

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 From:  Michael Gibson
1634.12 In reply to 1634.11 
If you have something slightly differently arranged than this, use the "Move" command to first move the tread to be lined up exactly with one line endpoint, then you can use Scale after that to size it to fit as shown above.

- Michael
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 From:  Michael Gibson
1634.13 In reply to 1634.11 
Also manz was very much on the right "track" :) above with the idea to break the curve into equal sized markers.

But once you have done that you don't want to use the curve anymore, because you don't want to get aligned to just some tangent along the curve, you want to have pieces to be aligned only specifically in those line directions.

When the curve is only made up of lines, then when it gets a curve tangent to align each piece to, it will be along those line directions and not at some more smoothly changing curved piece.

- Michael
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 From:  Frenchy Pilou (PILOU)
1634.14 In reply to 1634.13 
cool method!
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