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Object Editing Tools

Guide Foyer | Tools Reference | Tool Palette

Selection | Creation | Overlay | Openings | Color | Editing | Orientations | Viewing

Rotate Tool

Rotate objects by dragging. Rotation works in two ways -- about a center or about an edge -- depending on how an object is grabbed.

To rotate an object about its center, select it and drag on the object but not on any of its handles. When rotating an object by this method, the 3D position of the crosshair is ignoredjust the side-to-side motion of the 2D cursor across the screen is used to control the degrees of rotation.

To rotate an object around an edge, select it, and grab it by an object handle with the 3D crosshair. Drag with the 3D crosshair to rotate the object about the edge opposite the handle you've grabbed. When rotating by handle-dragging, the degree of rotation is controlled by the three-dimensional position of the crosshair.

Shift-constraint works while rotating an object to round off all rotations to a preset round number, which is called the rotation constraint value. That is, with the Shift key held down while dragging, the object will rotate only to multiples of the current rotation constraint value. The default constraint value of 15 degrees can be changed in the Preferences section of the Layout menu.

The axis of rotation for either rotation method is controlled by the crosshair working orientation (described in the next section of this chapter), so rotation always occurs in the primary working plane. To change the axis of rotation, select an alternate working plane orientation.

Trim Tool

Cut through an object or group of objects. The cut is defined by a cutting line across one face of the object, which is then extended through the object perpendicular to the starting face.

Select an object, and then the Trim tool. When the trim cursor is over the object, a 2D crosshair will appear on a face of the object. If you move the cursor over a different face of any selected object, the 2D face-crosshair will follow to that face. Position this crosshair at some point along the slice you want to cut, then press the mouse button and drag to another point along the slice. When you release the mouse button, the cut will be made, along the line you defined, and perpendicular to the surface you are cutting from. The trim is always cut through the object perpendicular to the face you're cutting from.

To cut through several objects at once, group them, and then trim the group as if it were one complex object. The faces crosshair for trimming works on the group bounding box.

Reshape Tool

Reshape an extruded object by dragging on mid-edge handles, or reshape an opening by dragging on vertex handles. Click the Reshape tool, and then select the object to reshape. (The Reshape mode allows selecting.) The bounding box of the extrusion will be hidden, and mid-edge handles will appear for every edge in the object. Drag these mid-edge handles with the 3D crosshair to sculpt the profile of the object. Openings are reshaped with the faces crosshair, so mid-edge handles will not appear.

Reshape only functions when exactly one object is selected. (For this purpose, an opening counts as an object.) If more than one object is selected, the Reshape tool becomes unavailable. This is indicated by the disappearance of the mid-edge handles on extrusions and by greying of the Reshape icon.

Clicking and dragging to select objects is functional while in Reshape mode, so one object after another can be reshaped without having to go to the tool palette over and over again.

Faces Mode Tool

Select and manipulate individual faces for reshaping blocks, aligning the arbitrary working orientation, and in future versions for placing images onto faces. Exactly one object face can be selected at any time, although many entire objects can be selected at the same time as the one face.

One application of moving a face is adjusting the incline of a roof slab. The slope of a roof slab can be readily adjusted by selecting its side faces, and then option-dragging that face upward or downward, to incline the block without changing its size or position in plan.

When a face is selected, special constraints are applied to dragging the object edge handles and corner handles on the face. All movements of edges or vertices are constrained to the plane of the face. This can be very useful for certain constructions.

See the Working Orientation Tools section for how a selected face can assist in setting the 3D crosshair working orientation to a particular direction.

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