The Blob

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 From:  wibble
415.1 
* Looks around nervously *

Okay, here's my suggestion:

Would it be possible to have a Blob (freeform shape) object in the 'Draw Solid' panel?

The Blob function would give the user the ability sketch a freeform shape, then it would automagically turn it into a solid.

For a better idea of where I'm talking about, check out this nifty little program over here:- http://www.archipelis.com/

Just a warning though - The meshes Archipelis produces are a little nasty right now. But it's an incredibly easy and fast way to produce a quick model.


So I'm not suggesting that MoI tries to work exactly like the above program. But that MoI just gives the user ability to rapidly draw a single shape/blob. Then we can switch to a side view and scale the blob's depth if necessary. We could then combine blobs and fillet the intersections to create beautiful organic forms.


What ya think?. Isn't this the most wonderful idea in the universe ever?

;)
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 From:  Michael Gibson
415.2 In reply to 415.1 
Hi Wibble,

> * Looks around nervously *

:) No need to be nervous, please don't hesitate to post!


> re: Archipelis

I haven't had a chance to mess with this myself, but I've seen some of the demo pictures. It looks like a lot of fun! I especially like how it looks like if you trace a part of an image that it will use it as a texture map as well.

Unfortunately NURBS-type surfaces are a lot harder to construct in this type of a way than polygon meshes. With meshes it is possible to disperse the points of the mesh in a lot more random manner and put little mesh facets in at any location. But NURBS surfaces don't tend to be as tolerant of this type of randomization.

So I hate to discourage you, but I think that there are basically technical difficulties in getting this type of thing to work well as an automated process in MoI.


But I would like to let you in on my secret "Blob construction technique" that might be useful to you in MoI right now.

First draw the outline of your blob - here I have done a Draw curve / Freeform / Sketch:



Now select it and run Edit/Trim. At the "Select cutting objects" prompt, hit the "Add trim points" button - this allows you to pick some points to split up the curve into pieces. Pick these points:



Push "Done" to finish picking trim points, and then at the next stage where you pick which pieces you want to keep, press Done again to keep all the pieces.

Now your curve is split into 2 pieces - these are your rails.

Now add a cross-section - one easy way is to draw a circle from 2 diameter points, and check the "vertical" option. You want to draw it at an angle at a spot where the rails are matching up fairly well, so for example here is where I drew it in this case:



That looks like a line there, but it is a circle that we are looking at from the side.


Now select just the circle, run Construct / Sweep, select the 2 rails and here's your blob:



Sometimes you might also put in more than one circle to help align the sweep at strategic matching spots between the rails.

It's a bit difficult to automate this because it is hard for the software to have as good of a judgement as you for where to split the rails.

But this technique might get some blobs going for you!

- Michael

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 From:  wibble
415.3 

Thanks for the tip, Michael.

After using Archipelis, I decided to see if I could build in a similar way in MoI. I came up with the similar approach to yours. But yours seems much better, because I was creating the two rails seperately and then sweeping an ellipse through them. Which meant I then had to go deal with the capped ends.


Anyway, after playing around for an hour, I came up with something fishy. I think I've learnt finally learnt how to build in MoI. At last! :)

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 From:  Michael Gibson
415.4 In reply to 415.3 
He looks great!
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 From:  GarBob (GARY-MOI)
415.5 In reply to 415.4 
Hi Michael,

I was reading about the blob thing and then I saw the picture of wibble's fish and thought that I'd like to try that.

I started by drawing the top and bottom profile in the front view and then added the elipse for the 3d portion of the fish. I then did a sweep using the elipse and the top and bottom rail with no ends so that I could use show points.

I then drew kind of an airfoil/fin thing and projected it to the outside of the fish body and then I extruded one side using a path. I then created the three small versions of the end of the extrude and did a loft including the end of the extrusion. Then I did a boolean union of the extrusion and the loft and then mirrored it to the other side.

Before this I had tried top add a bunch of points to the side of the fish but no points were created.

How do I create fins with closed ends?

How do I close the front and back of the fish?


Gary
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 From:  BurrMan
415.6 In reply to 415.5 
Here is one fin closed. You can do the same for the ends also.. If you split the edge into 2 by trimming, you can use the blend tool to get a nice end shape...

EDITED: 19 Jun 2012 by BURRMAN

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 From:  Michael Gibson
415.7 In reply to 415.5 
Hi Gary, the method Burr shows is a good way to do it.

Just to clarify, that method involves using the Trim command to cut the ending edge so that it is in 2 pieces, and then you can use the Blend command to blend between those 2 pieces.

When you are in the Trim command when it asks you for cutting objects you click the "Add trim points" button to tell it you want to pick a point to cut at instead of selecting a cutting object.

Also before selecting the edge, hide any of the original construction curves that you may have right on top of it, otherwise it is difficult to select the surface edge because the curve will be in the way of it.

- Michael
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 From:  GarBob (GARY-MOI)
415.8 In reply to 415.7 
Wow, that's really nifty. You just have to be careful where you put the trim points or you may get more than 2 segments which don't work.

I ended up using a sweep with a big end and a scaled down small end with a long arch to create the wing / fin.

This is so simple when you know what you're doing.

Thanks BurrMan and Michael!

Gary
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