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TUTORIAL I

A Box With Rounded Corners


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Step 1 - Creating the Main Body

Add a tube primitive gif. The properties for the tube are Radius=5, Height=90, Circle Sections=36 and Vertical Sections=1. The Stagger Points, Close Bottom and Close Top check boxes should be unchecked.

Pick select object mode gif and the marquee selection tool gif. Drag a rectangle around the tube in the top view to select it. Pick Transformation from the Object menu. Check the rotate check box and type in 0,0,5 for X,Y,Z respectively. Bring up the Object Transformation dialogue box again, check the Rotate and the Transform Axis Only check boxes. Type in 0,0,-5 for X,Y,Z.

Now pick the Select Points mode gif. With the marquee selection tool, pick all of the points to the left of the axis in the TOP view (see Figure 1). Bring up the Object Transformation dialogue box and check the Translate check box. Type in -90,0,0 for X,Y,Z. Now select all of the points above the object axis in the top view (see Figure 2) and bring up the Object Transformation dialogue box. Again, check the Translate check box and type in 0,90,0 for X,Y,Z. Now that the body of the is complete we want to move the axis into its center. To do this, pick Object Select Mode and select the cube. Bring up the Object Translation dialogue box and check the Translate and the Transform Axis Only check boxes. Type in -45,45,45 for X,Y,Z. Now, reposition the to 0,0,0 by bringing up the Object Transformation dialogue box, checking the Position check box only and typing in 0,0,0 for X,Y,Z. The object should now look like the one in Figure 3. Select the object and save it as "cubebody.iob", then delete it gif.

Step 1 Figures

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Figure 1
Figure 2
Figure 3


Step 2 - Creating the First Rounded Edge

Add a tube indentical to the one a the start of step 1 (no rotation this time). Select the object using Object Select mode and then pick Select Points mode. Using the Marquee selection tool select all of the points on the left of the axis in the TOP view (see Figure 4) and delete them. Next select all of the points below the axis in the TOP view (see Figure 5) and delete them. We now have a rounded box, rounded edge.

The next thing to do is to manipulate the object into the correct orientation. Normally this requires an bit of trial and error to get it into the right place. For this tutorial just follow these instructions. Select the object and bring up the Object Transformation dialogue box. First check the Rotation check box and type in 90,0,0 for X,Y,Z. Next, check the Position check box and type in 45,45,45 for X,Y,Z. Perform the tranform operation. As you can see more than object transformation can be done each time. To make the next part easier we are going to move the rounded edge's axis to the center of the cube. Simply select the rounded edge and bring up the Object Transformation dialogue box. Check the Position check box and the Transform Axis Only check boxes and type in 0,0,0 for X,Y,Z. The object should look like the one in Figure 6. Select the object and save it as rndedge.iob, then delete it.

Step 2 Figures

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Figure 4
Figure 5
Figure 6


Step 3 - Creating the First Rounded Corner

Add a primitive sphere. The properties for the sphere are Radius=5, Circle Sections=36 and Vertical Sections=18. Make sure that the Stagger Points check box is unchecked.

Select the sphere in Object Selection mode then pick Point Selection mode. Use the Marquee slecion tool to drag out a rectangle selecting all of the points on the left of the axis in the TOP view (see Figure 7). Delete these points. Next select all of the points below the axis in the Top view (see Figure 8) and delete them. Now select all of the points below the axis in the RIGHT view (see Figure 8) and delete them.

Again we are going to move the corner into the correct position so firstly, select the corner in Object Select mode and bring up the Object Transformation dialogue box. Check the Position check box and type in 45,45,45 for X,Y,Z. Also, move the axis into the center of the cube by selecting the corner and setting the axis position to 0,0,0. You should be familiar with object tranformation now, remember its only the axis we are setting the Position for. The corner should look like the one in Figure 10 if it does select it and save as rndcorn.iob. Do not delete it this time.

We are now going to make the edge and the corner so load the rounded edge, rndedge.iob. Notice that the edge and corner meet correctly. It is possible to get rounding errors in Imagine, this where the object may not be positioned exactly at the required co-ordinate. Check this by zooming in on the seam between the edge and the corner and doing a quick scanline render gif. The output is show in Figure 12, make sure there is not visible seam. If there is check the objects Position and re-enter any co-ordinates are slightly out (e.g. 0.4999999 to 5). If everything is OK select both objects, using the Marquee selection tool, and pick Join from the Object menu. Pick this new object and save it as edgecorn.iob.

Step 3 Figures

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Figure 7
Figure 8
Figure 9
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Figure 10
Figure 11
Figure 12


Step 4 - Creating the Top of the Box

Load in the rounded edge and corner object, edgecorn.iob, if it is not already loaded. Select the object and first copy it gif then paste it gif. NOTE The object is pasted directly over the existing objects, it is there and remains selected. Immediately, bring up the Object Transformation dialogue box and Rotate the object using 0,0,90 for X,Y,Z. You will notice that after the translation there is only one object displayed. Pick Redraw from the View menu (TIP:Keyboard shotcut "Ctrl" and "r") to refresh the screen. Both object should noow be displayed. Repeat The copy and paste, within reselecting anything and rotate again using 0,0,90 for X,Y,Z. For the final corner do the copy, paste, rotate operartion again, remembering not to re-select any objects. The final object is shown in Figure 13. Again check for any unsightly seam around the joins by zooming in and doing quick scanline renders. If everything looks OK select all four objects, use the Marquee selection tool again, and pick Join from the Objects Menu. Select the new object and save it as fouredge.iob.

Leave this object loaded and add a primitive plane. The properties for the plane are Width=90, Height=90, Horiz. Sections=1 and Vert. Sections=1. As you can see the plane is in the wrong orientation and position so, firstly, select it. IMPORTANT TIP You may find that you cannot use the mouse to select just the plane because its axis is directly on top of the axis for the corners. To overcome this pick Select Object mode and ensure no objects are selected. Press the "Ctrl" and "n" keys together, notice that one of the objects changes colour. This means it has been picked. Press the keys again and the other object will change colour. Do this so that the plane you have just added changes colour and then press "F1". This action selects a picked object. The method may be used to select one particular object from a large cluster of other objects, very useful. Bring up the Object Transformation box an Rotate it using 90,0,0 for X,Y,Z and set its Position using 0,0,50 for X,Y,Z. Again check for seams and Join the two objects. NOTE by selecting the four rounded corners object first its axis will be used for the new, joined object, which is ideal as it is at 0,0,0. The object should look like the object shown in Figure 14 and Figure 15, select it and save as comptop.iob.

Step 4 Figures

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Figure 13
Figure 14
Figure 15


Step 5 - Completing the Box

If its not already loaded, load in the box top object, comtop.iob. Select it then copy and paste it. Bring up the object Transformation box and check the Scale check box. Type in 0,0,-1 for X,Y,Z. We have actually mirrored the top to create the bottom of the box. Anyone with the lastest version of IFW can select Mirror from the Objects menu and mirror is locally about the Z axis. We now have the top and bottom of the box, this is shown in Figure 16.

Load in cubebody.iob. This adds the final part to the rounded box. Again check all the seams using quick scanline renders. If every looks OK select all three objects and Join them together to create the completed rounded box. Figures 17 and 18 show the finished Box with Rounded Corners. Select the object and save it a rndcube.iob.

Step 5 Figures

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Figure 16
Figure 17
Figure 18


And Finally.....

This tutorial has utilised many of the features commonly used for object creation in Imagine. These include object and point selection and object transformations. Imagine does have the ability to rotate and move interactively which is useful for roughly positioning an object. It can then be positioned accurately using the transformation dialogue box or the new object snap to grid feature. Always bear in mind that many objects are just a collection of primitives.


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© Richard Jennings 1997, 1998